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.

website contact:

Next Meeting
February 6
Maple Tree
Hwy 51, McFarland
Social Hour
11:00am Social Hour
12:30pm Lunch

Hi ARC members,

Sitting by a nice fire and watching it snow outside can be awfully relaxing.  The gorgeous winter landscape Mother Nature brought us over New Year’s is one of the rewards of living in Wisconsin.

But if you’re feeling a little restless, you might want to check out some volunteer opportunities to get you out, about, and feeling vital.

The federal government shutdown is bringing news stories of properties suffering from vandalism, trash buildup and neglect.  I imagine those of you who worked for parks can only imagine the nightmare.

The National Park Service offers a variety of volunteer opportunities  for individuals and groups as part of the Volunteers-In-Parks program. Work behind the scenes or on the front line in positions ranging from a one-time service project/volunteer event to a longer term position. Opportunities are available at park locations throughout the United States. Some positions are specialized and require particular talents, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as a background check. Other positions only require a desire and willingness to volunteer.

Another option is Earth Team volunteers with USDA/NRCS. Earth Team volunteers work with federal conservation professionals on private lands to improve soil quality, conserve water, improve air quality and enhance wildlife habitat.  Earth Team provides a variety of opportunities full- or part-time, outdoor or indoor, and as an individual or part of a group.

There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities that could use your specialized knowledge and experience close to home. Head over to to see what DNR is looking for in the way of volunteers these days. You and your organization can adopt a fish or wildlife area, flowage, or wild river. Duties include property posting, habitat improvements, litter removal, surveys, financial donations and many other activities. Sponsors may choose from over 200 fish and wildlife areas throughout Wisconsin. If you or your organization is interested in adopting a Fish or Wildlife Area, submit an application to your local DNR office. Partner efforts are recognized through property signage and media outreach.

Likewise, Wisconsin State Parks needs you to help with ground, trails and forests! Click here to  Learn more about volunteering at Wisconsin State Parks .

Or help the Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation protect our endangered resources and care for State Natural Areas and the native landscape, significant geological formations and archeological treasures they preserve. Learn more about the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program

This week will see BIG changes in DNR leadership.  Governor-elect Tony Evers has tapped Preston Cole to be DNR secretary.  Cole has been serving as commissioner of neighborhood services in Milwaukee, but you probably know him as a member of the Natural Resources Board. First appointed in 2007 by Gov. Jim Doyle, he was re-appointed by Gov. Scott Walker. Sitting through many Board meeting in my career, I remember Cole as thoughtful, well informed, respectful and protective of DNR staff, and possessing a sense of humor. Cole is also on the board of directors of the Water Council. He has a degree in forest management and has publicly already indicated he will “double down on science" in the department.

See you next week at Babe’s!