Local residents receive Rancher of the Year award for conservation

Special to the Herald Times
MEEKER | Rocky and Sparky Pappas and Travis Flaharty received the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts 2016 Rancher of the Year Award at the annual meeting in Loveland, Colo., on Nov. 16.
Rocky, Sparky and Travis were nominated for the award by the board of supervisors of the White River Conservation District for their demonstrated excellence in land stewardship and conservation after receiving the local Conservationist of the Year award in January 2016. Rocky, Sparky and Travis lease nearly 11,200 acres from Sparky’s family and continue to improve wildlife habitat, water quality and quantity, weed management and range improvements that benefit both wildlife and livestock.
“When we visited the property to gather pictures for the nomination I was really impressed with how well and diligently Rocky, Sparky, and Travis manage their property. They have really done a lot to improve the forage and water,” said district manager Chris Colflesh.
Additionally, Rocky, Sparky and Travis hold Meeker dear to their hearts and volunteer time and resources to the betterment of the community. Sparky was active with the Historical Society, all three are active with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and they partner with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife on youth hunts each year.