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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Member Profile

Jim Huntoon

I retired December 30,1994 after 36 years of service. My career with the Conservation Department began in 1958 as a Conservation Aid. I took time off my state duties to serve in the National Guard and completed basic and advanced training in artillery. Shortly after completing that assignment an active duty call sent me, for a year, to Ft. Lewis Washington during the Berlin Wall crisis. I returned to the Conservation Department in 1962 and was promoted to Game Manager stationed in Janesville and later in Monroe. In 1968 the Conservation Department became part of the Department of Natural Resources. While in Janesville I met my wife Esther who worked as a receptionist and loan clerk in the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service.

In 1971 was promoted to assistant watershed manager in the Madison office and in 1972 became Chief of Watershed Development. In 1976 I was promoted to Assistant for the Administrator of Enforcement. Six months later I was promoted to Director of the Bureau of Environmental Impact. In 1978 I was appointed Director of the Office of Lands. Land acquisition was one of the most satisfying duties of my career. In 1980 it was on to the appointed position of Administrator for the Division of Resource Management. This division has undergone several changes over the years since my retirement, but at that time included most of the programs of the old Conservation Department. While there, due to a hard working staff, the first DNR Division wide strategic plan was developed.

A gift from staff!!

In 1987, I became District Director of the Southern District, with the opportunity to oversee all the programs of the Department in a fourteen county area, and remained in that position until retirement.

Two highlights of my time with the DNR were trips to China and Russia as part of a delegation to those countries. The department sponsored return visits by delegations from those countries and we developed friendships as a result.

After moving from Monroe to the Madison area in 1972 Esther and I had a son and daughter. Esther was a "stay at home mom" for 10 years as the two children were nine months apart in age, one was adopted. She later worked as a bookkeeper for the New Glarus Veterinary Clinic until my retirement.

Esther and I have traveled extensively throughout our married life. In the early years trips were mostly mountain back packing. Since retirement we have visited 30-35 counties on six continents.

A new form of transportations for us.

Near the Matterhorn.

On the beach during our annual Florida retreat.

Retirement has provided the opportunity to spend winters in Florida, do some hunting and fishing and volunteer work. Spring turkey hunting is one of our favorite things to do. Also we keep track of about 30 bluebird houses near our home.

A successful hunt!

We enjoy getting together with friends, many from our "DNR family".

Throughout my career I was fortunate to have great supervisors, mentors and excellent staff. A large part of any success I had was due to them.

Past Member Profiles

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