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.
The Association of Retired Conservationists was organized by a group of men
who retired from the Wisconsin Conservation Department in the 1960's.
When the State's executive branch was reorganized in 1967, the State Legislature
created the Department of Natural Resources by combining the Department of Conservation
and the Department of Resource Development. By the mid-1970's, 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 South Central Wisconsin Association of Retired Conservationists has over 200 members.
One purpose of the ARC meetings is to allow people who had worked together during
their long careers to continue to socialize after retirement. However, a policy
statement signed by the officers of the organization in 1976 explained that the
group also wants "to support programs and objectives which in its judgment were
beneficial to sound management" of our state's natural resources. In 2007, the
ARC membership unanimously reaffirmed their social Mission as well as their
support for science-based conservation legislation and other conservation efforts.
At that time, members also voted to continue to reimburse the costs of having
two ARC members represent the group at the Employee Trust Funds and State of Wisconsin Investment Board
meetings and keep ARC members informed of issues related to the Wisconsin State Retirement system.
ARC meets monthly at restaurants in south central Wisconsin (most often, in the
Madison area). A social hour begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch, which is
usually served at 12:30 p.m., and a brief business meeting or a speaker follows
At the time it was organized, some ARC members wanted to admit only males, so a separate DNR Women Retirees Group was formed in the 1970's. Then in 2005,
ARC members voted to adopt a policy on membership eligibility to make it clear
that women retirees are also eligible to join ARC.
To be eligible for ARC membership:
The applicant must be retired after having worked in the field of
environmental conservation. (Retirees from DNR, the DATCP, DOT,
the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Soil Conservation Service are
all eligible to join. However, the majority of current members are
The applicant must attend a minimum of two meetings as a guest of an
existing member or members.
At the second meeting that the applicant attends, an existing member
will present the applicant for membership and the members in attendance must
vote to admit the person as a member of ARC.
Once the applicant has been voted in as a member, the applicant must pay
a one-time initiation fee. The amount of the initiation fee is decided
by a majority vote of the members. The current one-time initiation fee is $2.00.
The DNR Women Retirees Group
The DNR Women Retirees Group meets for lunch once in May and once in October of each year.
The lunches are held at Madison area restaurants. Members will receive either an email message or
notification in the mail (whichever is preferable to you) listing the location of the lunch,
the date and the menu choices and prices. You choose an item from the menu and forward your
payment in advance of the meeting. A social hour begins at 11:00 a.m. followed by lunch,
usually served at 12:00 Noon. Generally a brief gathering for announcements and member news
The Women’s Group and ARC also jointly sponsor a summer picnic (in July or August) and a
December holiday party attended by both groups at a Madison area restaurant.
All women who have retired after working at DNR are invited and welcome to join the DNR
Women Retirees Group. There is no membership fee. It is a great place to connect with
women you worked with over the years and also make new friendships. Of the 105 members of
the women retirees group, 34 women are also members of ARC.
We encourage participation in both organizations.