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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:

retiredrick@wisarc.org

Welcome to the ARC Breaking News/Action page where you are encouraged to enter items members may be interested in reading that are too timely to wait for discussion at our next monthly meeting.

If you misplaced the Comment Code you were sent in the April 2016 monthly News blast, please email me here.

Important Timely News

Laurel Steffes                                           Jan 4, 2017

Here's the information on the newly forming advocacy/speakers' bureau group that is forming among retirees to support DNR programs:

New organization forming - Resource and Speakers' Bureau in Support of DNR Programs
From Terry Daulton tdaulton@centurytel.net and Jeff Wilson
Hello folks,
Jeff Wilson and I are writing to share an idea we have been kicking around, to get feedback from friends and colleagues and to see if the concept merits further discussion.
In recent months and years, many of us who have spent out lives working in natural resources research, management, or policy have been dismayed (if not depressed) by threats to environment and the land ethic Aldo Leopold developed and nurtured in Wisconsin. I think that many of us have also felt a bit hopeless and powerless in the face of negative attitudes towards science, facts, and the relentless focus on short term economic policies which put the environment at risk. Whether premeditated or not, it is clear that there is a multi-faceted attack on the land ethic in Wisconsin and now perhaps nationally. Two weeks ago I received a copy of an article in "The Guardian" written by the fiction author, Barbara Kingsolver, that really got us fired up. It suggested that it is time for us to take off the kid gloves and use our expertise to defend our values, whether we are writers, artists, or scientists. I have attached the link for that article below here.
So, we have come up with an idea for an organization of natural resources professionals who want to provide good information to the public and media on natural resources policy. This group could be mostly retirees who can speak out without fear of backlash and who have a deep understanding of the history of resource management in the state. We are envisioning the goals of this group could be to draw on the expertise of members to write white papers as issues arise, and these papers could be used to create press releases, letters to the editor, and could be posted online on a blog perhaps. This could be a bit like a Union of Concerned Scientists, but with a Wisconsin natural resources focus. The group would have members from different specialties such as wildlife, watersheds, permitting, air quality, fisheries, forestry, parks, or research. In this way, each person would be free to work in their area of expertise when an issue arose, and the work load would not be too onerous for any one person. We tried to think about whether an existing organization is doing this kind of work. There are many great organizations in the state and region, but when we thought about it it seemed like most existing non-profits have missions that give them a focus on one field or the other, or perhaps do not have the breadth of technical expertise that this proposed group could provide. Also, a group of (mostly) retirees has extensive background in agency methods and planning and how policies actually play out on the landscape.
Jeff and I would like to offer to host a get together to discuss this idea and whether it is worth pursuing.
We have come up with a couple of ideas for names for such a group.... drawing on the Leopold Legacy. One might be the "Green Fire Coalition" or another idea could be the "Land Ethic Coalition". But we could explore this idea too. I am attaching a doodle poll here to see how many of you might be interested in an initial conversation and what dates might be convenient. Please also share this with colleagues who you might think have an interest and ability to contribute. http://doodle.com/poll/m5bzvx7gz7uqzfzu

Second Email:
. . . we have settled on Feb 25th for the meeting date. We have contacted Kemp Station, which for those of you who may not have been there, is located just outside Woodruff. I have tentatively reserved their new meeting room space and told them I thought we might need a few overnight rooms. Kemp has reasonable overnight housing for those who might want to stay over one night or make a weekend of the trip. In fact, if we do have several overnight folks, we get the meeting space for free! The fee for a night is $40 (unless you are university staff and get a discount). You can visit Kemp Station website for more information, http://kemp.wisc.edu/ The rooms have single beds, and there are kitchen facilities and bathrooms in the main lodge building. The station is set in a lovely stand of old hemlock forest on the shores of Tomahawk Lake, so a great location for us to ponder our purpose and goals.
Please let me know if you plan to come to the meeting and if you would want a room for overnight. It would be great if you could get back to me soon, so I can confirm numbers with Kemp. At the latest, please let me know by January 5.
Even if you can't make the meeting on the 25th, but have ideas you want to share, please send me the information. If you would like to be removed from this list please let me know.
Terry Daulton and Jeff Wilson
ORGANIZATIONAL DRAFT-GREEN FIRE (Name to be discussed and is tentative)
To date, most of the people who have been invited to participate in our new group are retired natural resource professionals from state or federal agencies or colleges/universities. There seems to be a consensus that we can contribute to maintaining the land ethic in Wisconsin, help protect the legacy of science based natural resources management in the state, and put our professional skills to work in a way that feels meaningful and impactful.
There are also concerns that we target our efforts carefully with a realistic understanding of the political times and the fact that we all have full and busy lives. With this in mind, we suggest preparing for our meeting with some ideas to work from. Please send your responses to the following questions to help us make our time productive.
Possible roles for the organization have been suggested:
*drafting white papers and press releases on various topics to provide to interest groups, policy makers and the public
*investigating communications between politicians, agency staff and funders to identify problems
*lead an effort to bring together environmental and resource user organizations across the state in a focused campaign.
*Will our group be only responding to issues, or also taking a proactive approach with a positive message
1. What role (from the above list or other ideas) or roles would be the most important and effective for our group to take on as a main focus.
2. Should our focus be state-wide, or should we tackle national or local issues?
3. What natural resource issues/topics should we take on (list your top five)?
4. What kind of organizational structure should we consider? Are there models we could use?
5. Will you need overnight lodging for the meeting at Kemp Station? If so, Friday and/or Sat/?
6. Would you stay for a later afternoon happy hour and dinner time potluck Saturday night?

Barbara Wolf                                           Dec 19, 2016

We are sad to learn that Thomas Kroehn, former water quality engineer and head of the DNR Environmental Programs until his retirement in 1992, passed away on December 7. Tom's daughter Mary Ann Buenzow is a current DNR employee and his son-in-law Brian Buenzow is retired from DNR's wildlife program and an ARC member. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Midvale Community Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd, Madison, WI 53711. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
Full obituary may be found at
http://www.cressfuneralservice.com/obituary/170329/Thomas-Kroehn/

DuWayne Gebken                                           Oct 16, 2016

Carl Blabaum's obituary
Blabaum, Carl J. http://host.madison.com/news/local/obituaries/article_febb984a-01de-5b16-95a8-4268275c8d1d.html

DuWayne Gebken                                           Oct 12, 2016

Kwallek, Albert Joseph Jr. http://host.madison.com/news/local/obituaries/article_f7724ee3-ffde-565f-89c2-f062e8496aab.html

Barbara Wolf                                           Sep 16, 2016

Peggy Beaumier from the NER retiree group sent this along: The Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility (BAFF) in Kewaunee is having its Open House again this year! It will be held on Saturday, October 1, from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. There will be casting practice for children as well as a 1 1/2 mile nature hike.

Barbara Wolf                                           Sep 16, 2016

Here's a reminder for current group health insurance program participants. Have you earned your 2016 Well Wisconsin Incentive? Complete both the wellness assessment and health survey now to avoid delays in payment. Incentives earned after October 31 will not be issued until January 2017. For more information, go to wellwisconsin.wi.gov and see who is eligible, find further links to your health plan's physician form and health survey, and register for an onsite biometric screening.

Retired Rick                                           Sep 14, 2016

From Darrell Zastrow:

After 24 years of dedicated service to the DNR, Paul DeLong is leafing the agency to pursue another opportunity. In October Paul will become the Vice President of Conservation with the American Forest Foundation. As he branches out in his new endeavor, we will certainly miss our bud and pine away thinking about days gone by. No more can we needle our friend or bark at him about our challenges here at DNR. A gathering is planned to bring some crown closure to a great career in DNR as well as to celebrate this jolly good willow.ehfellow.

We'll be hosting an open house to celebrate Paul's career with DNR and wish him well! Please join us as we root for him in his new venture! Cake will be served.

Following the open house, we will gather at the downtown Great Dane. Hope to see you there!

Paul DeLong Farewell Open House
Thursday, September 29
3:30 - 4:30 p.m., GEF2, Room G09
The celebration will continue after 4:30 at Great Dane

If you wish to contribute toward a parting gift and sign a card for Paul, please see one of the following-or forward contributions via mail-by September 23:

*Kelsey Pickart - GEF2, AD/8
or
*Melody Marshall - GEF2, FR/4

Please share this message with your staff and others who may be interested. Thanks!

Kurt Welke                                           Aug 24, 2016

Dan Fuller Retirement Party
Sat Sept 10
Leland Town Park, Leland,WI
1 pm- 7 pm
Brats, burgers, chicken at 4 pm
Refreshments provided
** NOTE: Side dish POTLUCK .Bring a dish to pass: salad, veggie, hors d'ouvres
--------

RSVP by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 to : Kurtontheriver@gmail.com

Checks payable to : Kurt Welke
4214 Tokay Blvd, Madison, WI 53711

Number of Guests @ $7.. _______ Something for Danno . _______
TOTAL... _______

Barbara Wolf                                           Aug 14, 2016

We were saddened to hear of the death of Steve Miller on August 8. Steve retired last October and attended our February meeting. He worked for Wisconsin DNR since 1974 starting his career in wildlife management in Shawano, Marinette and Cumberland; later he was Director of the Bureau of Wildlife Management, served as Division Administrator for Resource Management, and from 2003 until retirement, Steve was Director of the Bureau of Facilities and Lands. http://www.cressfuneralservice.com/obituary/157083/Steven-Miller/

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, August 15, 2016 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6651 Prairie View Dr., Sun Prairie, WI 53590.

The Natural Resource Foundation of Wisconsin has established an endowment fund in Steve's name.

MaryEllen Vollbrecht                                           Jul 27, 2016

Dear colleagues,

It's time for a bon voyage. August 5 will be my last day at DNR. On the 6th, I'll be taking off on a year or so of bicycling. My knees won't last forever so I'm going cycling now - but I'll be back at some point and expect to continue working on water-related issues. It's hard to leave the staff and projects in the Groundwater Section. We're in the midst of some really important projects that will provide new options for reducing contamination risk for drinking water supplies. Over the next three weeks I'll be working as hard as I can to contribute to continued progress on our GW projects. After that, you can find me at crazyguyonabike.com.

I hope to see as many of you as possible for a bon voyage party after work on Thursday, August 4 - watch for details to follow.
-Mel
Mel

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