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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Welcome to the ARC Breaking News/Action page where you are encouraged to enter items members may be interested in reading that are too timely to wait for discussion at our next monthly meeting.

If you misplaced the Comment Code, please email me here.

Important Timely News

Retitred Rick                                           Feb 3, 2024


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continues to prepare for the sturgeon spearing season that will open Feb. 10, 2024 on the Winnebago System.

Under the current rule, the sturgeon spearing season opens on the second Saturday in February, regardless of weather conditions. It continues for 16 consecutive days unless closed early if harvest registration data indicates the harvest cap will be met.

Read More Here

Retired Rick                                           Jan 30, 2024


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites the public to participate in the rescheduled 38th annual Bald Eagle Watching Days happening on Saturday, Feb. 10, in Sauk Prairie. All Bald Eagle Watching Days events are free and open to the public.

Bald eagle lovers can watch eagles soar above the Wisconsin River from a newly renovated overlook located at 490 Water St. in Prairie du Sac. Volunteers will be available at the overlook to help visitors spot eagles and answer questions from 8 a.m. 4 p.m.

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Retired Rick                                           Jan 29, 2024

DNR Urban Forestry Program Announces Inflation Reduction Act Grants Program

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced it will award $4 million to local governments, tribal governments and nonprofit organizations through a competitive Urban Forestry

Inflation Reduction Act grants program. The program will support projects that positively impact trees and people within disadvantaged communities* in Wisconsin. Eligible projects must take place in or benefit those who live in disadvantaged communities as identified by the DNR on this map and list.

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Retired Rick                                           Jan 26, 2024

Wisconsin wildlife officials warn of $16M shortfall as fewer people get hunting licenses

Wisconsin's wildlife management account will start the next two-year budget period nearly $16 million in the red thanks largely to dwindling hunting license sales, putting projects from fish stocking to habitat restoration in doubt, state Department of Natural Resources officials warned Wednesday.

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Retired Rick                                           Jan 24, 2024


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) urges the public to practice ice safety on all of Wisconsins waterbodies and remember that no ice is safe ice.

Temperature swings, mixed precipitation and other factors are making ice unsafe to walk or drive on across much of the state, despite recent snowfall and subzero temperatures.

Read More Here

Retired Rick                                           Jan 24, 2024


The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) invites all Wisconsinites to take part in its annual spring hearing process.

The WCC is an independent organization of residents that advises the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on how to responsibly manage Wisconsins natural resources.

Each year residents have an opportunity to submit ideas as resolutions to the WCC.

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Retired Rick                                           Jan 21, 2024


The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) today announced 2023 preliminary returns for the fully funded, $132 billion Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS).

The Core Fund, the larger of the two WRS trust funds with more than $122 billion in assets, ended the year with a preliminary one-year net return of 11.4% and a preliminary five-year net return of 9.3% The Core Funds 10-year and 20-year returns, net of external manager fees, continue to exceed its target return of 6.8% with SWIB outperforming the Core Fund benchmark for all these periods.

Strong absolute investment returns in four of the past five years are expected to result in a positive annuity adjustment for beneficiaries this spring and stable employer and employee contribution rates in 2025. SWIBs solid investment management has delivered positive annuity adjustments in nine of the past 10 years. According to a recent study by Pew Charitable Trusts, despite recent high inflation, WRS retirees have experienced more protection from inflation compared to the typical public retiree.

Significant market volatility over the past several years reinforces the importance of maintaining a fully funded pension system. Given the challenges investors continue to navigate, we remain focused on a long-term investment strategy for the WRS that is designed to weather a variety of market climates, said SWIB Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer Edwin Denson. We will maintain a disciplined process and stick to fundamentals to help ensure the pension fund can meet its obligations to WRS participants.

SWIB diversifies its assets among many types of public and private investments and actively manages its assets to grow and protect the WRS trust funds. Over the last 20 years, SWIBs active management and diversification generated over $29 billion for the Core Fund above what would have been earned in a low-cost passive portfolio consisting of 60% global equities and 40% domestic bonds. Further, SWIBs investment management has added value to the WRS trust funds of more than $3 billion above benchmark returns over the five years ending December 31, 2023.

The Variable Fund, an optional stock-only fund with more than $9 billion in assets, ended the year with a preliminary one-year net return of 22.2% and preliminary five-year net return of 12.7% The Variable Funds 10-year and 20-year returns, net of external manager fees, were 9.3% and 8.4%, respectively.

Du Wayne Gebken                                           Jan 15, 2024

Tom Heberlein died January 4, 2024. Here's a UW news release on Tom's passing. Tom did groundbreaking research on hunter behavior.

DuWayne Gebken                                           Jan 12, 2024

A news release on Lew's induction into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame can be found here.

Retired Rick                                           Jan 12, 2024


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages property owners to watch for woodpecker damage to their ash trees this winter. If damage is found, property owners should make plans to take action in the spring.

Woodpecker damage, often called flecking, happens when birds peck away some of a trees bark to access the larvae underneath. Flecking is a common early sign that an ash tree might be infested with emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect. EAB is the most damaging threat to Wisconsin trees, killing more than 99% of the untreated ash trees it infests.

Read More Here

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