Member Profiles

Dave Ives

Dave was born in Oklahoma in 1943, 8 months after his father shipped out to North Africa. He was raised in central Iowa where his father had a large animal veterinarian practice. In 1961, after graduating from high school, Dave enlisted in the Army and was trained as a medic and a paratrooper. He was assigned to the 82d Airborne but received a medical discharge from the Special Forces in 1963 after a parachuting injury. Dave and Karol were married in 1964. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1968 with a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology.

In 1968 Dave was hired by the Wisconsin Conservation Department as a Fisheries Manager and was assigned to Nevin as a trainee. He was assigned as District Fish Manager of Sauk and Columbia Counties, stationed at the Poynette Game Farm under Nick Miller, the Area Fisheries Supervisor. That was during a period when Areas were Districts, and Districts /Regions were Areas. Dave experienced four re-organizations during his career! His fellow DNR office mates at Poynette were Thurm Deerwester and Danny Owen (Game), Henry Kern (LE) and Ed Forrester (Fire Control). After the first reorganization Dave became a Fish Manager in the Horicon Area, working under Bill Selbig, with responsibility for Columbia and Rock Counites.

Those were the days of the BIG "chemical treatment" (carp poisoning) projects and Dave took part in the Lake Yellowstone, upper Fox River (the "Save Buffalo Lake" project), and upper Rock River ("Save Horicon-Koshkonong") projects with Vern Hacker. In those days, the Fish Manager WAS the water regulation and zoning lead, and Dave got involved in the early stages of the Columbia Generating Plant permitting at Portage, after the utility had been told no permits were necessary! It was also the era of "lake building" by developers, and he helped stop the damming of Hulbert Creek, a class 1 trout stream near Wisconsin Dells.

In 1972, Dave was promoted to Area Fish Manager at Hayward, replacing Wally Niemuth. The Hayward Area was Sawyer, Rusk, Washburn and Burnett Counties and the assistant was Fish Manager Denny Haanpaa (Spooner). The Tech (Seasonal) was Doug Erickson, out of Ladysmith. The other Area Fish Managers were Gerry Bever (Park Falls), Bill Weir (Brule), and George King (Lake Superior). Dave says, "Hayward was the best duty station of my career, and if I'd had any brains, I'd have stayed there! Were it not for racial problems in the schools and poor health care facilities, we probably would have." Karol and Dave had two children by then, Mike and Cindy, and the whole family really loved the outdoors. Many hours were spent berry picking, canoeing, fishing, camping. Dave also spent many hours hunting and was later joined in the adventures by son Mike.

Early in his career at Hayward, Dave was called back to Madison to work on the Environmental Impact Statement, one of the first, on the Columbia Generating Plant. He coordinated and compiled the report, under the supervision of Lou Posekany, and testified as fisheries expert on the project. At the conclusion of the project he was offered a job in the new Environmental Impact program, working for Buzz Besadny and Lou but turned them down and returned to the North.

A second reorganization came about, adding Polk and Barron counties to the Hayward Area. Dave worked with Fish Managers including Frank Pratt (Hayward), Stan Johannes (Spooner) and Rick Corne-lius (Barron). The Techs were Bill Bennett (Hayward), Gary Lund (Spooner) and Jerry Perkins (Barron). Dave served as the Hayward Area Fish Manager until 1978. During that time he enjoyed working with Les Tiews and Harry Libby (Wildlife), Milt Dieckman, Larry Miller, and John McGaver (LE), John Delamater and Jim Miller (Fire Control), Rags Romnes and Gus Kaiser (Forestry). The Area Supervisors were Bert Dahlberg, Dave Jacobsen, and Jim Schweiger. District Fisheries Supervisors were Clarence Wistrom and Chuck Johnson. In 1978, Dave was recruited by Jim Addis to come to Madison and work on Comprehensive Planning. He worked with Dennis Schenborn on the planning effort until 1981. Harry Libby was his Wildlife counterpart. Using a USFWS template, the two developed and implemented a project-based planning, budgeting, and review system that the field managers uniformly disliked. It may still be used today!

After the planning project, Dave served as Inland Section Chief in the Bureau of Fisheries Management and became the Commercial Fisheries Liaison in the Great Lakes Section. In 1985, he was selected as the Lake Michigan District Fisheries Supervisor in Green Bay. He terminated his probation when his wife, Nancy, was unable to find suitable employment in the area. After several assignments in the Bureau of Fisheries Management, Dave was tasked with evaluating the DNR's fish propagation facilities from an, "if cuts are made", scenario. As a follow-up, he conducted a workload analysis of the fish propagation program. Measurement parameters were developed with the propagation supervisors and District Fisheries staff, inventorying the workload at each facility, and compiling a staffing plan based on the analysis.

One of the things that became apparent during the analysis was the fish propagation program, which had about 50% of the statewide Fisheries employees, 40% of the operating budget and 75% of the facilities, had no statewide coordination. Dave became the first Fish Propagation Coordinator, a job he held from 1987 until retirement. During that time, the program undertook the first major renovation of statewide fish propagation facilities since the WPA, except for Bayfield which had been approved as a U.S. Congressman "pork barrel" project. Lake Mills, Spooner, Woodruff, Winding Creek Rearing Pond, the Bayfield water supply, were all renovated and plans were developed for Wild Rose and Nevin. Dave had always planned to retire early, and a brain stem aneurysm in March, 1998, firmed up the decision. Nancy kept the family solvent, as she had for a number of years, as Assistant Vice-President for System Facilities Planning and

The Ives Men, 1999

Dave and the boat rehab project

Dave enjoyed playing house husband and worked on their retirement present for him, a 20 foot Australia-made power catamaran, an excellent Great Lakes fishing boat.

Nancy's Prairie

Nancy finally retired in 2004, and the Ive's moved to the wilds of Sauk County, locating about 5 miles west of Sauk City-Prairie du Sac. They have taken several major trips, 2 weeks in Italy, 2 weeks to Yellowstone and back, a week in the Carolinas, a week in Costa Rica, and an upcoming Alaska-Canada coastal tour and cruise.

Dave and Nancy in the West

When at home, they enjoy spending time with family, especially the 5 grandkids ranging in ages from 9 months to 24 years. Both enjoy gardening and Nancy has converted about 1/3 of their acre lot into prairie. The Ives' also enjoy hunting, fishing, canoeing, boating, bird watching, photography and just relaxing.