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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There will be no June in-person meeting.

Stay tuned for a Zoom call announcement.

Hi ARC members,

A little rain and warm temperatures and the trees are bursting with flowers and buds.  Many of you are getting ready for turkey season (big at our house) or the general fishing opener on May 1.  DNR reports sturgeon spawning has started on the Fox and Wolf rivers, and could be in full swing as early as this weekend (April 10 and 11.)  Spring has taken off.

The April Zoom meeting was a good one.  Tim Eisele put a lot of work into a presentation that highlighted some DNR history and life as an outdoor reporter in Wisconsin.  If you missed it, don’t despair.  Rick has arranged to make it available on our website at on the 'What's New' page. You will find a lot of photos as well as Tim’s perspective as an outdoor writer on what’s good and what’s problematic in DNR policy right now.

At that April Zoom meeting, members also discussed dealing with the tattered condition of our ARC budget.  More on that will be emailed.

And we happily agreed it was time to start planning the annual ARC picnic.  YEAH, like in person!  Dom Mangardi has reserved the park shelter in Middleton on JULY 14.  Mark that date on your calendars.  Zoom call attendees thought inoculations will be pretty much complete for our group by then, and the gathering is held outside.  Sheree Vande Brink is checking with the caterer.  And we will make signing up available on the website in a month or so.  Now that ARC is more tied in with local DNR retiree groups in Green Bay, Rhinelander, Spooner and Eau Claire, our hope is some of your regional colleagues will make the trip to the picnic to see old friends! [By the way, if you are trying to connect with a retired regional colleague, you might try emailing the primary retiree contact for that area.  Check out our website “About Us” tab at

There have been members contacting me asking when luncheon meetings will resume.  It will be some time after the picnic.  If you have strong feelings, please email me

Of course, resuming luncheons will also depend on Linda Netzer’s success in lining up venues and on Dane County guidance for indoor gatherings.  The good news is we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

In the meantime, we have another great presentation coming up at the May Zoom meeting.  ARC member Dennis Schenborn has been researching explorers’ perilous attempts to reach the South Pole, and has written an engrossing book on the subject.  He will present the story at the Zoom meeting: 

“On February 10, 1913, Roald Amundsen was lecturing to a crowd of 3,000 in the Red Gym on the campus of the UW-Madison. His topic was how he reached the South Pole. He began his lecture with these words:

“’It is with deepest regret that I begin my lecture tonight. From the meager details that have come to us in this afternoon’s paper it appears certain that the brave Captain Scott and his polar party have perished.’

“Although Amundsen reached the Pole more than a month before Scott, he was cast as a villain by the British press. The legend of Scott’s heroic struggle was written even before the men who lived it with him could step ashore to tell their own tales of hardship and triumph in the cold of Antarctica. The carefully controlled newspaper accounts of Scott’s story created a legend with one tragic hero.”

I surely hope you will join us.  You don’t want to miss this one.  Until then, take care.  I urge you to keep wearing a mask – even if you’re fully inoculated – to protect all of our grandkids and younger folks, and to keep from freaking out other shoppers at the grocery store. 


P.S.  My plan was to make this a short message.  Writers.  What are you going to do?