Boise resident Ken Miracle was presented with a $5,000 grant award Wednesday night for his work toward greater sage grouse conservation in southern Idaho.
He was one of six finalists at the Heroes of Conservation Awards ceremony, hosted by outdoor magazine Field & Stream. All six finalists received a $5,000 grant for their conservation efforts.
Miracle, 66, was featured in the Idaho Statesman Wednesday. He said before the ceremony that he would donate his grant money to a local chapter of the conservation group Quail Forever, where it will help fund habitats in Canyon and Owyhee counties.
The overall winner of the Field & Stream award was Ryan Krapp, of Bismarck, N.D., who was named Conservation Hero of the Year; he was awarded the grand prize of a new Toyota Tundra truck. Krapp is the state chair of the North Dakota Mule Deer Foundation.
Miracle, a Twin Falls native, said he has been enchanted with the greater sage grouse ever since he was a child.
Miracle said his volunteerism intensified after he retired as a human resources manager with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture in 2008.
Miracle volunteers for the Nature Conservancy in Idaho, as well as groups focused specifically on sage grouse conservation, such as the Owyhee County Local Working Group and the Sage Grouse Initiative.
He works on habitat restoration projects and donates his wildlife photography to raise public awareness of the greater sage grouse and its habitat.
“He completely embodies the spirit of a hero of conservation,” said Kristyn Brady, an assistant editor of Field & Stream magazine.
The other finalists came from Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington. Miracle said the ceremony was the first opportunity for all of the finalists to meet each other.