The Association of Retired Conservationists was organized by a group of retirees from the Wisconsin Conservation Department in the 1960's. By the mid-1970's, the WCD had been combined with the Department of Resource Development to form the Department of Natural Resources, and the retirees group had grown significantly, met monthly for lunch and began inviting speakers to address the group on issues of interest to the members. Today, the organization has more than two hundred members.

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Next Meeting
July 11
5614 Schroeder Rd., Madison
Social Hour
11:00am Social Hour
12:30pm Lunch

Hi ARC members,

Hope you are enjoying spring. 

DNR is 50 years old.  Can you believe it?  YOU built the agency from its pieced together humble beginning to the premier integrated natural resource and environmental agency in the country.  So much history – implementing Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, reintroducing turkey and elk, implementation of tribal hunting and gathering rights, establishing new parks, and way too much to list here.

For more Biennial budgets than I care to admit, I developed a budget item to hire a project historian to capture DNR’s remarkable history.  A couple secretaries were supportive.  But each time, M&B ferreted the item out, put it on the chopping block (Grrr), and it was gone. 

We, as retirees, can still capture much of DNR’s history by providing narratives, vignettes, and personal recollections.  You may have seen that Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine is celebrating the 50th anniversary throughout the 2018 issue-year. It began with a story in the Spring issue about how DNR came to be. The Summer issue will carry an 8-page timeline of key events in the agency’s history.

What’s missing — and this is where they are asking for your help — are firsthand accounts of what has made DNR a special place to work. The magazine is planning a story for the Fall or Winter issue that celebrates employee contributions and memories.  

Kathy Kahler, on behalf of the magazine, is asking you to share your experience and recollections with the magazine staff, and more importantly, with readers who are loyal fans of DNR and the magazine. It could be something like one from Kermit Traska about his first task in 1968 of placing new DNR logo stickers over the painted WCD logos on department trucks, or Doris Rusch’s account of finding her place in the male-dominated field of wildlife biology of the 1980s, or the part Lee Kernen played in “planting” coho and Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan. What do you have to share on what it was like to be a part of the first super-agency in the nation?

You don’t have to write a book or finished article.  You can knock this off in a half hour on the couch. Just provide an email or snail-mail (Kathy Kahler, DNR – OC/2, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707) of around 100 words by June 28. Your story can be amusing or poignant, deeply personal or reflective of a co-worker. If you have a photo of you or your story, all the better. Magazine staff can edit and scan photos or slides and return them to you. Depending on the response, they may not have space for them all but they will be retained for posterity.

Kathy will join us at the June meeting and can answer questions. 

Also at the June meeting,  Leilani Amundson, an elder benefits specialist for the Dane County Area Agency on Aging, will be joining us to give an overview of Medicare benefits, changes for 2018, and to answer general questions.  Since it’s impossible to cover everything in a half hour, she’s promised to bring ‘cheat sheets’ with important info for you to take home.  AARP has also provided handouts on Medicare policy issues that we will hand out.  Should be an interesting session, and one you’ve requested so we hoping for a big turnout.  Leilani will be with us on June 6th at the Nitty Gritty, 1021 N. Gammon Rd. in Middleton.  We expect her to start her presentation about 1 p.m.

And HEY! June 2-3 is free fishing weekend.  Grab the grandkids and head to a fishing pier.  It’s also parks open house day on Sunday, June 3.  Head to your fav park to see Wisconsin folks enjoying what your hard work developed.

The June meeting should be great!  See you there.