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Entries being sought for Aldo Leopold Writing Contest

Aldo Leopold is often referred to as the father of wildlife ecology and the U.S. wilderness system. (WIKIPEDIA)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Entries are now being accepted for the Aldo Leopold Writing Contest featuring several $500 awards and open to students in grades 6-12 throughout New Mexico.

Leopold is most widely known as the author of the classic “A Sand County Almanac” published in 1949, organizers said in a news release. He is widely credited with creating the modern idea of “community” and enlarging it to include non-human elements, such as soils, waters, plants, animals, “or collectively: the land.”

Leopold believed economic wellbeing was directly tied to wellbeing of the environment.

Student entries should tell the story of a local land ethic leader, reflecting an understanding of Leopold’s land ethic, but not limited by it, organizers said.

Students may interpret “local” to mean their own immediate neighborhood or the entire Southwest.

“A Sand County Almanac” is available at local libraries, bookstores and on the internet.

All students enrolled in grades 6-12 in public, private and home schools in the state of New Mexico are eligible. Students must submit original work and have a sponsoring teacher sign the contest entry form. One entry per person.

The length of the letter varies by category as follows: Grades 6-7: no longer than 300 words, $500 First Place; Grades 8-9: no longer than 400 words, $500 First Place; Grades 10-12: no longer than 500 words, $500 First Place; Bonus Prize: $250 in books for the school with the overall best entry.

Entries must not identify the author, sponsor or school so judging can be anonymous. Entries and entry forms must be scanned into a pdf file and emailed to by the deadline, Feb. 9, 2018.

Go to or for contest and entry information.

In rare cases, submission guidelines may be altered to overcome technological barriers. Call Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico at (505) 268-5337.

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