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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.

website contact:

retiredrick@wisarc.org

Member Profile

Eric Thompson

Eric grew up in Evansville, WI, with his parents, Roger and Lillie, and his sister Rhonda. He graduated from Evansville High School in 1966. Evansville was a nice place to grow up. Eric still sees many of his high school classmates, who seem more like brothers and sisters. In retirement, on a querterly basis they gather informally for what they call “Walk & Talks”. An amusing rule the group has is each person is allowed to talk about their health, but only for a maximum of 2 minutes.

Eric attended the UW-Madison and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1970 and in 1974 with a Master of Science degree in Water Resources Management. After graduate school, Eric worked for Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City, MO, mostly preparing Environmental Impact Statements on a contract basis primarily for Federal agencies.

Eric began his career with the Department of Natural Resources in 1976 as a Planning Analyst in the Department’s Southern District. He worked on water quality planning for the Rock River Basin under the direction of Gloria McCutcheon.

One memorable experience Eric recalls while at Southern District is being reassigned in the late 1970's, temporarily with other Environmental Quality staff, to help control the Avian Cholera outbreak in the Horicon March goose population. In 1980 Eric transferred to the Department’s central office to become a Planning Analyst for the Bureau of Solid Waste Management under the direction of Bob Krill, and later Paul Didier.




Eric enjoying his early DNR years
circa 1982

In 1984 Eric transferred to the position of Budget & Management Analyst in the DNR Bureau of Management & Budget under the direction of Joe Polasek. In 1994, he was reclassified to Budget & Policy Analyst – Senior. From 1994 until his retirement in 2008, Eric had, at various times, the budget assignment for the Divisions of Enforcement, Lands, and Forestry, preparing biennial budgets, and related policy and budget issues within these programs. He enjoyed working with the program staff on the fiscal aspect of issues such as CWD and Stewardship funding. Eric retired from the DNR on April 30, 2008. He currently lives in McFarland, WI, where he has lived for 10 years. He has two sons, Casey, 36, and Clint, 33 who both live in Madison. Eric is able to get together frequently with them and enjoy activities. They attended the 2011 Rose Bowl together.




Eric with Clint,(left), and Casey at the 2011 Rose Bowl.

Eric enjoys retirement while pursuing a number of hobbies. He likes to exercise as often as he can and was a runner most of his adult life. He is happy to have had the opportunity to have run the Boston Marathon twice, and the New York City Marathon once, as well as many local races and fun runs. Eric has run in the Madison CrazyLegs Run 27 times. While his running has waned in retirement, he still likes to jog a few miles as often as he can.


Biking with the madisonbikeandbow.com team

Eric also enjoys biking, and rides with retirees in the Madison Bike and Bowl Team group once a week. The group bikies in the summer and bowls in the winter. Of course the highlight each week is lunch!




Eric also enjoys golfing, and likes to join his golf buddies in golf outings several times a week.



Foster Invitational Golf Outing
Aoril 2013

He continues to serve as the captain of his golf team in the DNR Golf League. While he likes to experience play at a variety of golf courses, he is a member at Evansville Country Club where he learned to play.

Eric likes to travel when he can, and his gone on recent trips with the Wisconsin Alumni Association including a trip on the Columbia River tracing the Lewis & Clark expedition, a trip to Italian Amalfi coast and a trip to Cuba.



Captain Eric


Kayaking, Palouse River.


Salmon River rafting trip in Idaho


Eric is an avid Badger fan with season tickets to both football and men’s basketball, and enjoys attending the games as well as following the Badgers on out of town trips. He also enjoys lounging at the UW Memorial Union Terrace, and listening to music at the many outdoor Madison music venues.




Past Member Profiles

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