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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Meeting Minutes



Meeting of March 7, 2018 held at Great Dane Pub, 2980 Cahill Main, Fitchburg


ARC President Laurel Steffes called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm.


48 people were in attendance. Four menu items were offered, all at $15 (included tax, tip and a donation to the treasury): Peanut Stew served over rice (7 ordered); turkey club sandwich (18 ordered); Pub burger (14 ordered); Webster street chicken salad (8 ordered).


A moment of silence was observed for friends and family who have passed and for our troops who are serving in harm’s way.


The February minutes were read and approved.


Treasurer’s Financial Report


Financial Report: For the month of February, expenses were $512.04 paid to Babes for 32 lunches, and $8.00 was paid for 2 packages of name badges paid out of petty cash. Deposits were $559.00 from money collected during the Feb. 7 lunch at Babes. That money collected was for the lunch plus $12 in the donation jar, and $15 for Lifetime Member Dues for Faith, Holaday and Landsness. The ARC bank account balances on March 1 were: savings balance was $224.03 and the checking balance was $464.96. Also, John Hagman took care of our federal tax filing. He confirmed that we do not need to file since interest is so small.

Guests and New Members


Joe Brehm attended his second meeting and was nominated for membership. Joe was unanimously voted in. Welcome, Joe!



“Frank-n-Miller Report”


Nothing to update this month.


Old Business



New Business


ARC member George Meyer, currently Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, formerly DNR Secretary, will be inducted into the Conservation Hall of Fame at a ceremony April 14 in Stevens Point. Ron Semmann will introduce him at the induction and the public is invited to attend. See for registration details. Ron noted that George joins the ranks of many notable champions of conservation among them Gaylord Nelson and Aldo Leopold. Congratulations to George, what an honor!


Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices of Conservation is pushing out position papers. Expert readers are always needed to make sure facts are correct. See Also, you can find info on the WI Greenfire Facebook page.


The July 11 ARC meeting location is changed since Linda Netzer was recently informed that Sprecher’s is closing. She was able to quickly book Babe’s as the new site so make note on your calendars if you took a paper copy. Also Chuck Pils is on tap to give a presentation on his trip to Iceland at the July meeting. Don’t miss it! There was a question about the July date being the picnic. A: This year the picnic is in August (we alternate July/August for the picnic.)


President Steffes recognized Mike Foy who has been making presentations on the need to actively address Chronic Wasting Disease, and has offered an idea for providing bounties or monetary rewards for harvesting CWD positive deer.


Tim Andryk shared his insights on the drafting of the Wetlands Bill which has now passed the Assembly and Senate and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Tim, a former DNR attorney, is working with Ducks Unlimited. Their organization along with other conservation groups were brought to the table after much of the language was already drafted. They expressed many concerns. Initial proposal was to exempt all state (not connected to federal waters) wetlands from permitting requirement. There was potential for the loss of millions of acres of wetlands. Second draft exempted just urban wetlands. Final compromise exempts urban wetlands under 10,000 ft2 unless high quality wetlands, with no mitigation needed. Wetlands over 10,000 ft2 require mitigation. Non urban areas less than 1.5 acres can be filled with no mitigation required. Since no permit required, enforcement is impossible as there is no ability to force compliance as a “condition of the permit.” Questions raised about flooding issues, but legislators didn’t want to hear about that impact.


Al Prey gave a report on a gathering of the southern ARC members on February 21 in Estero, Florida. Eight attendees, great lunch, he learned that the Huntoon’s and Nicotera’s homes in Florida were both severely damaged by flooding.


Tom Hauge wondered if state retirees are eligible for any cell phone plan discounts. No one at the meeting was aware of that, but did suggest checking with AARP for some good plans.


Jim Miller relayed that he spoke to Jim March who moved to LaCrosse some years ago, said he misses attending meetings regularly and seeing everyone.


Question raised about current membership directory and how to obtain. Last one published over a year ago, we’re due to get another one printed so Barb Wolf will work on that with Rick Wojciak. Any updates to addresses, phone, or other contact information can be sent to Rick. There is a link to Rick’s email address on the home page. If you want an electronic copy, contact Rick. Warning, it’s somewhat outdated!


Lots of good information in Laurel’s column, see home page of



Deaths and Illnesses


Get well wishes to Al Prey who reported that he had gall bladder surgery recently, and Tom Thoresen who was at the meeting despite the fact that he underwent an emergency appendectomy last week.


Diane Hansen, retiree from Green Bay, sent out a message to the NER retiree group to let everyone know she was diagnosed non-Hodgkins lymphoma and is undergoing chemo. If you know Diane, she said she is happy to get cards and letters!

Tom Beard, retired fisheries biologist/GMU supervisor in Cumberland and Spooner areas, passed away January 18.


Pradeep Hirethota, fisheries biologist in Milwaukee, passed away.


Kathy Crary passed away February 17. She was the wife of Steve Crary of Lodi, who is a Bureau of Law Enforcement retiree.


Doug Fendry and his wife vacationed in Cancun. He said there were trepidations about going to Mexico based on stories you hear, but he had a great trip, warm hospitality. Ron Semmann echoed that comment. He, Marty Henert, their spouses and Jane Wiley went on an eco tour in Mexico and found the people very accommodating, wonderful well planned tour.


Chuck Pils is planning a trip next month to Big Bend National Park with the Larsons. He said he couldn’t help but reminisce about another trip to the southwest in 1967. The Pils family had driven Route 66 from Chicago and were tent camping about 100 miles from Las Vegas. That night, a bright light illuminated the sky for probably 10 seconds, they had no idea what it was until the next day when they found out an atomic bomb had been detonated at Yucca Flats, Nevada!


Al Prey and Dave Hall have birthdays this month.





Jim Miller and Ron Poff shared jokes. Meeting adjourned at 1:40 pm.