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 May 2, 2018, held at New Glarus Hotel, New Glarus

ARC vice president Dan Fields called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.

38 people attended. The cost of the meal was $16 for plated weinerschnitzel and green beans, family-style rosti and spatzile, along with house salad, rolls, beverages and ice cream. The cost included tax, gratuity and a contribution to ARC’s treasury.

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

The April minutes were read and approved unanimously.



The opening savings account balance on April 1 was $224.05.  The dividend on April 30 was $0.02.  Savings account balance on April 30 was $224.05.


Account balance after the April 4 lunch deposit: $608.96.

Expenses from April 5 to May 2:

·      April 21: $75 to the Natural Resources Foundation in memory of Richard Lindberg.

·   May 2: $608 collected for 38 lunches (at $16 per person) with $20 in donations.

·        May 2: $551 cash paid to the New Glarus Hotel for lunch.

·         Income from April 5 to May 2:

·         Checking balance on May 2 was $610.96. 


Chuck Pils introduced friend Bob Elkins a retired veterinarian and avid outdoorsman.

Pat Sheahan nominated Sue Jones for membership. Sue worked for DNR’s Bureau of Water Regulation & Zoning for five years, about 20 years ago. She went on from the department to work for Dane County’s Department of Land & Water Resources. Members will vote on Sue’s nomination when she attends her second meeting.


The annual Coalition of Annuitants (COA) Conference will be held on May 11 at the American Family Center Building. Speakers will include Robert Conlin, Secretary of the Department of ETF; Michael Williamson, Executive Director of the Investment Board (SWIB); Kevin McKinley, a financial planner; and Lisa Lamkins, advocacy director for AARP Wisconsin. There are only four attendee openings left (as of today’s luncheon. Reservation fee is $25, covering breakfast and lunch.

Ed summarized preliminary YTD/quarterly returns as of March 31, provided by SWIB:

·         Core Fund: -0.44% (benchmark -0.46%)

·         Variable Fund: -0.7% (benchmark -0.8%)

Reflect markets, where there’s a great deal of volatility now. Most asset classes are struggling, except returns for real estate and private equity. Makes diversification of core fund so important.

Other interesting financial matters include:

·      Total incentive compensation awards for ETF staff was $11.6 million, down from previous year.

·      As of April 1, the UW System has turned over its investment management for the UW System Trust Funds to SWIB.

·      ETF is now in its new home in the Hill Farms State Office Building.


The Group Insurance Board will vote on next year’s health insurance at its May 16 meeting. Although not switching to a Medicare Advantage plan entirely in 2019, will offer scaled down plan. United Health Insurance will provide. They describe as a low-priced plan, which will include coverage for health, dental, drugs and vision. Will be deductibles and co-pays. Wisconsin Retirement System says will offer same benefits, provided by any doctor accepting Medicare. Silver Sneakers wellness benefit will continue. WRS will hold workshops prior to enrollment beginning in October.




MEDICARE PRESENTATION: In her May column, Laurel Steffes reported that Leilani Amundson, an elder benefits specialist for the Dane County Area Agency on Aging, will join us in June with an overview of Medicare benefits, changes for 2018, and to answer questions. Since it’s impossible to cover everything in a half hour, Leilani will bring “cheat sheets” for you to take home. AARP also has promised to bring handouts with info on Medicare policy issues.

CHUCK PILS TRIP TO ICELAND: On July 11, Chuck will share photos and stories of his trip to Iceland. Recent Icelandic Airlines service to O’Hare has opened access to this geo-thermal wonderland. As she says in her column, Laurel has added Iceland to her bucket list, making Chuck’s presentation a “must see.”

JULY 11 MEETING LOCATION REMINDER: With the closing of Sprecher’s, ARC has booked Babe’s, again. Address is 5614 Schroeder Rd., Madison, just off the beltline.

Jim Miller reported that Dave and Laura Gjestson are moving from California to Arizona. Their new address is:

·         1641 Camino Cangrejo, Rio Rico, Arizona 85648

·         Email address is:

2018 PICNIC: This year’s picnic will be August at Lakeview Park in Middleton. Sign up online later in May.




Dick Lindberg, 88, who worked for the forestry program, died on April 8. You can find his obituary on our What's New' page.

Jim Miller read a message from retired forester Ted Pyrek, who reported that his cancer likely has spread. He will be discussing treatment options with his doctor in mid May.
Contact Ted at:

·         409 N. Finch St., Horicon 53032

·         920-485-2786


·         Gary Karls turned 81 on April 29.

·         Dan Fields will celebrate his 66th birthday this month.


·      Chuck and Linda Pils visited Big Bend National Park in Texas. It’s the only national park that encompasses an entire mountain range. Spectacular scenery.

·      Rick Wojciak also revently visited Big Bend National Park ridng though the park on a bike trip. Go here to see what it was all about.

·      Dennis and Elaine Schenborn traveled to Key West with Lee and Janet Kernen. He caught a 60 lb tarpon. Dennis also visited Washington DC, and highly recommended the Holocaust Museum. Said that it’s interesting to compare days of Nazi Germany with today’s events.


Ed Frank dredged up an old Dave Gjestson joke that could have gone seriously wrong, but ended appropriately and to the enjoyment of most.

Meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.