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

Brenda Hagman

Brenda Hagman retired from the Department of Natural Resources in December 2008 having progressed through the ranks and programs of DNR throughout her 30-year career.

Brenda’s story began in Michigan where she was born, attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and met and married John (on February 14, 1975). Brenda received a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management and a Master of Science in Remote Sensing from the U. of M., School of Natural Resources and Rackham School of Graduate Studies, respectively. She started her environmental career while in Michigan by working for the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan.

John was hired first by the Department in February 1977 and Brenda soon joined him in Wisconsin. They lived on a farm near Springfield Corners and were soon assimilated into Wisconsin’s culture of beer tents, softball leagues and Friday fish fry. Brenda’s life of leisure ended in 1978 when she was hired to work on a project to assess water quality impacts from nonpoint source pollution. From these humble beginnings Brenda worked her way around DNR, with a brief detour to DOA early in 1980.

Brenda and John

Brenda returned to DNR from DOA to join the Municipal Wastewater permit program. Brenda had a knack for compliance and enforcement issues and working with the Environmental Protection Agency that served her well throughout her career.

Brenda worked in the Bureau of Air Management as compliance unit leader, the Office of Environmental Enforcement serving as the Director, and served a number of acting section chief and bureau director assignments. Her career took a technology shift in 2000 when she was appointed the agency’s first Chief Information Office. From there Brenda moved to the Bureau of Communication and Education until her retirement in 2008.

Visiting the Grand Canyon

Brenda and John have always enjoyed traveling. Brenda and John and Joy traveling the world including wonderful places such as Machu Picchu, the Galapagos, India, Patagonia, Europe, and the many glorious national parks in the U.S.

Brenda and John recently purchased a second home in Sedona Arizona and are looking forward to spending their winter months in there. All are welcome to come visit.

The beautiful Sedona countryside

YoHo National Park, British Columbia

Brenda and John have three wonderful children. Jake, 35, and his wife Jess live in Ohio with their son Judah. Nick, 32, and his wife Katie are both attorneys and live in Chicago. Krista, 29, lives out west and teaches yoga.

Jake, Krista, Brenda and Nick

Christams Tree Time!

Most know that Brenda and John love to golf and try to make golfing a year round pursuit by leaving Wisconsin in the winters.

Past Member Profiles

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