LITTLE SNAKE VALLEY — Patrick (“Pat”) O’ Toole will be the recipient of the 2016 Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award. Pat and his wife Sharon, together with their family, manage the Ladder Ranch in the Little Snake Valley on the Wyoming/Colorado border. Pat manages the rangeland of the Ladder Ranch to produce healthy livestock with optimal genetics, while also ensuring the health of the landscape, watershed, and streams.
Pat is a true proponent of Wyoming conservation efforts and has drawn on the knowledge that he has gained as a steward of the land, to be a steward of policy. He was a member of the Wyoming House of Representatives and sat on the Select Water Committee and President’s Western Water Policy Commission. Pat has testified in front of national committees including U.S. House Resource Committee and the U.S. Senate Energy Committee on issues impacting the agricultural industry.
Currently, Pat presides over the Family Farm Alliance where he speaks about water use and irrigation issues. Pat commented on being chosen as the Bucholz Award recipient, and on the work that he has done, and continues to do in the area of water conservation. “Receiving the Bucholz Award is a great honor for me and my family,” Pat said. “It has been said ‘that water is the new gold.’ It is more than that. Water is life. I have had the great fortune to work with many of Wyoming’s Water Buffalo, including my friend Kurt Bucholz. Our challenge is to treat our water as the valuable resource it is for Wyoming’s future.”
The Bucholz Conservation Award is given in memory of the late Dr. Kurt Bucholz DVM, an early supporter of the WSGLT and rancher from Carbon County. The Bucholz Award winner encompasses the values and stewardship goals that Kurt exemplified in his life. Kurt had a unique understanding of water and land issues and worked to protect the historic water rights that are fundamental to the North Platte Valley. Laura Bucholz commented on this year’s award. “I am happy to present the award to someone who is such a strong advocate for conservation on a local, and state level.”
The Bucholz award will be presented at the WSGLT’s 15th Annual Barbeque at the C-Bar-B Ranch outside of Buffalo, on August 27th. Pat will be presented with a bronze statue sculpted by the talented Wyoming artist, Jerry Palen.