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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Next Meeting
May 1
New Glarus Hotel
100 Sixth Ave, New Glarus
11:00am Social Hour
12:30pm Lunch

Hi ARC members,

With all due respect to William Shakespeare’s character Polonius, I have borrowed the information for this month’s column from three sources:

FIRST, after years of fits and starts, this year’s Spring Rules Hearing and Conservation Congress meetings will be available for input on line.  Yup, really.  This makes it easy for you to stay involved and input your years of experience and knowledge:

“For the first time ever, the Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress will be providing an opportunity for the public to weigh-in on the Spring Hearing questions through an online option. The online input option will be provided through a link that will be posted on (search spring hearings) and will go live at 7:00 p.m. on April 8. The online version will remain open for three days (72 hours). Individuals in attendance at the Spring Hearings can choose to fill out the paper input form the night of the hearing or take a random verifiable number that can be submitted through the online system. The random verifiable number will allow an individual's input to be tallied along with the input provided by in-person attendees in the county in which they attended.

“Individuals who are unable to attend a Spring Hearing in person can provide input through the online version (without the random verifiable number). This input will be compiled and considered with the overall input but will be separate from the county-specific (in-person) input. The election of WCC delegates and input on citizen introduced resolutions will remain unchanged and will require in-person participation.”

Use this link to look over commonly asked questions about the on-line process: Spring Hearing ONLINE FAQ

SECOND, here’s an update on CWD from Tom Hauge, (retired Wildlife Management Director) and now Wisconsin Green Fire Co-chair of the Wildlife Work Group:

“On March 14, a small group of conservation organizations came together to discuss CWD.  A unifying concern was the lack of any mention of CWD in Governor Evers’ budget.  We all felt that we needed an initiative to raise the profile of CWD at the State Capitol with both the new administration and the legislature. Simply put, we need CWD action now!

“The groups that were represented included Wisconsin's Green Fire, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Wisconsin Bowhunters Assn., Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress.  Richland County landowner Doug Duren was also present…he has been a leader in getting sampling kiosks and dumpsters placed in Richland and other SW Wisconsin counties.  He also has been on a number of national media forums.

“The good news is that this group quickly agreed that we needed an initiative and [crafted a] preliminary action plan…We have built a website and have a Facebook page (search stopcwd).

“A near term item requiring a united effort is to make our concerns about CWD made known in the upcoming Legislative Joint Finance Committee (JFC) hearings.  There are only four hearings.  Attendees will only get two minutes to speak, so I strongly encourage bringing paper copies of your remarks/concerns…The only pathway for CWD action to get in the next budget will be through JFC.” 

Friday, April 5, 2019 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)* Pontiac Convention Center 2809 North Pontiac Drive Janesville, WI 53545

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)* Oak Creek Community Center 8580 South Howell Avenue Oak Creek, WI 53154

Monday, April 15, 2019 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)* University of Wisconsin – River Falls University Center – Riverview Ballroom #260 500 Wild Rose Avenue River Falls, WI 54022 Free Public Parking Accessible at: PAY 1 LOT, North Second Street, River Falls, WI 54022

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)* University of Wisconsin-Green Bay University Union - Phoenix Rooms 2430 Campus Court Green Bay, WI 54311 

Tom says to feel free to contact him or by phone at 608-477-0537. 

THIRD, Paul Heinen recently sent an interesting email as part of his work with Wisconsin’s Green Fire.  It’s his summary of how a bill becomes law, and, you know, this is kind of his jam. In our careers we’ve seen laws and rules take some pretty circuitous routes, but this is pretty well done and worth sharing. Demystifies a couple things for me. The summary can be the foundation for an ‘A’ report for one of your grandkids.

“As Wisconsin’s Green Fire’s (WGF) Legislative Liaison, I monitor legislative activity and watch for opportunities for WGF to provide information through testimony and comments. Unlike many environmental and conservation organizations, WGF does not actually lobby for law changes. Instead our role is to provide information to legislators and the public about proposed legislation based on science and our professional expertise. Our policy analyses and legislative testimony is at

We have provided input on bills related to wolf management, wetlands, water pollutant trading, and the 2018 lame duck session on government operations.

“After 38 years working the Wisconsin State Capitol on thousands of legislative proposals, I have narrowed the process down to what you need to know for 99% of all bills that pass and become law.”

Go to the 'news NOW' page of the page to see Paul’s summary.

Hope to see you at Imperial Gardens for the April meeting!