Four landowners were recently named 2010 Montana Neighbor Award recipients for displaying the traditional neighborly spirit that helped make Montana what it is.
Those recognized include: Annie and Bob Graham of Texas, with lands in the Madison valley; Leo Barthelmass of Malta, member of the Montana Stockgrowers Association board of directors and a leader of the Rancher's Stewardship Alliance; the family-owned Stoltze Lumber Company of Columbia Falls; and rancher Calvin Erb of Wisdom.
The awards are given every year by an informal coalition including the Montana Alliance of Land Trusts, Artemis Common Ground, The Nature Conservancy of Montana, the Montana Council of Trout Unlimited and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Award criteria include Cooperation, Land Stewardship/Conservation Ethic, Neighborly Land Access, and Community Leadership.
“Great nominations were submitted,” said Mike Volesky, natural resources advisor to the Governor. “It is inspiring to see that the tradition of being a good neighbor is alive and well in Montana. Maintaining that is essential to the future of our state.”
Each award winner receives Montana Neighbor Award certificates signed by the members of the awards committee and by Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. The framed document features an Evelyn Cameron photograph from the early 1900s, picturing a hay crew of neighbors working with horse drawn wagons.