The Wayne E. Kirch Nevada Wildlife Conservation Award is given annually to recipients who have demonstrated significant results towards conservation, management, or enhancement of wildlife during the calendar year preceding the award. An individual, non-profit organization, outdoor sports club, or business can be nominated for the award.
Selection of the winning nominee will be made solely from the official conservation award nomination form. A simple majority of votes from a judging committee that is made up of two wildlife commissioners, the Department of Wildlife staff assigned to the Kirch Award Committee, and Marlene Kirch, daughter of former commissioner Wayne E. Kirch will determine the recipient. In addition, four judges representing county advisory boards to manage wildlife or outdoor groups will be selected biennially by the Habitat Division, Game Division, Diversity Division, and Fisheries Division chiefs.
The following criteria are considered in evaluating nominees:
Time and depth of commitment to conservation, management, or enhancement of wildlife in the state of Nevada during the current calendar year.
Influence of the person/project on the public and in presenting positive public relations in regard to wildlife conservation in Nevada.
Quantity and quality of measurable results for wildlife conservation.
Obstacles, difficulties, and personal sacrifice involved in meeting wildlife conservation goals.
The conservation award consists of a perpetual bronze and wood plaque, on which that year’s recipient’s name is added. Each winner also receives a smaller version of the award to keep.
This award is named in memory of Wayne E. Kirch, who served on the Fish and Game Commission for over 25 years, the longest tenure on the board since its inception in 1877. The Kirch Wildlife Management Area in southern Nevada is also named in his honor. Kirch, of Las Vegas, passed away in 1989.
- 2022 – Elena Larsen
- 2021 – Ron Lurie
- 2020 – Len Warren
- 2019 – Ron Pierini
- 2018 – Brett K. Jefferson
- 2017 – Tortoise Group
- 2016 – Chad Bliss
- 2015 – Carol Evans
- 2014 – Jim Rackley
- 2013 – Brian Elmore
- 2012 – Steve Kellers
- 2011 – Andy Stinson
- 2010 – Cecil Fredi
- 2009 – Ben Miller
- 2008 – Mel Belding
- 2007 – Bernie Metcalf
- 2006 – Kevin (CK) Baily
- 2005 – The Fraternity of the Desert Bighorns
- 2004 – Ray Lister
- 2003 – Larry Johnson
- 2002 – Larry Johnson
- 2001 – Clint Bentley
- 2000 – The Nature Conservancy of Nevada
- 1999 – Edward Pribyl
- 1998 – Soil and Water Enhancement Action Team Coalition
- 1997 – Northern Chapter of Trout Unlimited
- 1997 – “Outdoor Nevada,” KLVX-TV
- 1996 – Conserve the Carson River Sponsors
- 1995 – The Fraternity of the Desert Bighorns