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 November 7, 2018 held at Imperial Garden


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


42 people were in attendance. Menu was a Chinese Buffet served family style: 5 main dishes with rice, egg rolls and tea. The cost of the meal was $16.00 (included tax, gratuity and a $2 contribution to ARC treasury.)


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

October minutes were read and approved. One change made to minutes as read: Jim Miller noted that the stock market is bull not bear. Minutes will be amended.

Steve Holaday gave the treasurer’s report, which was approved.

New Members and Guests

Mary Ellen (Mel) Vollbrecht was introduced by Laurel Steffes. Mel retired August 2016, and she and her husband recently returned from a lengthy European biking trip. Mel had 30 years of state service, working in Water Reg and Zoning as a shoreland specialist and as supervisor in the SER, she held position of Section Chief in Groundwater, Executive Assistant and retired as Section chief in Drinking Water and Groundwater.


Andy Morton was introduced by Tom Thrall. Andy retired in September 2018 with 36 years of state service. He started his DNR career in the Acid Rain Program, became regional non-point source coordinater at Fitchburg and for the last 17 year was a supervisor in the Water Program at South Central Region.


Welcome, to Mel and Andy and congrats on your retirements!


“Frank-n-Miller Report”

Ed Frank had a few comments on Health care insurance – mentioned that if you are not in ETF, your last day to select a Medicare plan is December 7. Some members had specific questions on types of plans.


As everyone probably knows, the economy is down in October, check the SWIB website for good updates. Their projection is that the year will finish close to even.


Old Business




New Business


Election of Tony Evers is positive news for conservation, likely will bring back some science into decision making. Speculation on who would be named as future DNR Secretary.


Holiday party is in December. Get your reservations in. Sheree VandeBrink is again running a raffle with proceeds to benefit Second Harvest Foodbank. She is offering an incentive of a free raffle ticket for those who advise her of their donation by November 26. It does help to know ahead of time so we can plan for enough table space and have the “buckets” filled out.

Deaths and Illnesses

Recently lost Larry Sperling, Don Beghin, Dick Narf.



Tom Thoresen visited Cuba on a cultural tour with the UW Alumni Association. Very good, well organized trip. Many contrasts to be seen; friendly and welcoming people but poverty is striking, appears that there is no pollution control on smoke stacks so the air is foul in some places.


Susan Sylvester visited Australia and New Zealand, dove the Great Barrier Reef.


Dennis Schenborn is leaving for Hong Kong. He is checking the 7th continent off his life list.


Doug Fendry said his trip to Memphis was not as exotic, but closer to home. Interesting city, it is worth visiting the Civil Rights Museum where is so much information, and he enjoyed taking in the great music offerings. Easy to drive there for a quick 3 or 4 day trip.

Bill Horns left us with a joke and meeting adjourned at 1:40 pm.