Steve Kellers Wins 2012 Wayne E. Kirch Conservation Award

by Aaron Meier

Steve Kellers of Reno, Nevada has won the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioner's 2012 Wayne E. Kirch Conservation award. Kellers' commitment to Nevada's wildlife resources will be recognized during the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioner's meeting on March 15, 2013 in Reno, Nevada, where he will be presented the award.

Kellers was nominated for the award by Nevada Bighorns Unlimited. According to the nomination, in 2012 Kellers had a "very impressive record of time and commitment to Nevada's wildlife."

Kellers' participated in the construction of numerous wildlife water development guzzler projects, including, the upper and lower Paymaster guzzlers, and the Snyder, Field of Dreams, Little Angel, Dixie Valley, Fast Glass and Monte Cristo guzzler projects. As part of his work, Kellers worked on all phases of the guzzlers but is particularly skilled and recognized for the design and construction of the fences that protect both the guzzler proper and the drinker. Kellers also worked on an efficient design for the Nevada Bighorns Unlimited trailer, saving valuable time and energy when in the field.

"It is very rewarding to work with the Department of Wildlife, its staff and the myriad volunteers and sportsmen and women that donate countless hours for the betterment of Nevada's wildlife," Kellers says It "is an honor to share my time with what I consider extended family on these many projects."

Kellers is described by his peers as a "proven leader" with an "ability to guide and lead volunteers" many of whom have little experience in construction."

Kellers has been instrumental in constructing many guzzlers throughout Nevada, including those constructed in 2012. These guzzlers provide an extremely important water resource for both game and non-game species alike.Bighorn sheep, mountain lions, a myriad of small mammals and birds have been documented using the guzzlers Kellers participated in. Kellers has donated hundreds, perhaps thousands of personal hours and drives thousands of miles in order to participate and perform volunteer service for the betterment of Nevada's wildlife. He has driven thousands of miles, paid for supplies, equipment and paid for maintenance out of his own pocket.

According to Dennis Wilson, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited President, "this selfless donation of time and money could have been spent elsewhere, but Steve's dedication to Nevada's wildlife resources is readily apparent. Steve would have it no other way."

The Wayne E. Kirch Conservation Award is given annually to recipients who have demonstrated significant results towards conservation, management or enhancement of wildlife. It 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. Kirch, of Las Vegas, passed away in 1989.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW's wildlife and habitat Conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen's license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. For more information, visit

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