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:

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

Candy Schrank                                           Nov 14, 2017

Jami Sue Acre, 43, of Edgerton, Wisconsin, passed away on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at UW Hospital in Madison, WI. She was born on April 7, 1974, in Madison, WI, the daughter of Suzan B. Acre and James L. (Rose) Acre. Jami's mother, Suzan Acre, retired from DNR after working many years. Obituary here . . .

Retired Rick                                           Jun 10, 2017

Janet Hartka Price, 69, of Seattle, Washington, passed away while on holiday in Ireland with her husband. She died in a bike accident while at the Gap of Dunloe in Killarney National Park.

Go here for information regarding her service and to to RSVP to her memorial gathering to beheld in Madison July

Green Fire: Voices of Conservation Group Launched                                           Apr 22, 2017


Scientists form new group to address threats to Wisconsins natural resources
Wisconsins Green Fire: Voices for Conservation has been formed in response to recent developments at the state and national level that threaten science-based practices and long-term vision in natural resources management.

[Madison, WI April 21, 2017]
Once regarded as a national leader in conservation, Wisconsins proud tradition of dedicated stewardship of its land, waters, and wildlife has been severely compromised. A new organization, Wisconsins Green Fire: Voices for Conservation (WGF), now seeks to reclaim that tradition of leadership for a new generation.

Under Governor Walkers administration, budgets have been slashed for Wisconsin State Parks and public lands management, scientific research, the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, and the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board. Scientific information on climate change has been scrubbed from Department of Natural Resources communications and restrictions on Department of Natural Resources staff have limited access to science at public hearings. This is a partial list of changes by the current administration that make it clear that responsible, science-based, long-term management practices are no longer welcome at the table.

In response to these threats, a group of retired and active Wisconsin scientists with experience from a wide range of institutionsincluding the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), the University of Wisconsin, federal natural resource agencies, nonprofit environmental groups, research institutions, and the private sectorhave established Wisconsins Green Fire.

WGF is an independent, nonpartisan group. Its nearly 70 members represent a depth and breadth of experience in natural resource management, environmental law and policy, scientific research, and education.

Historically, Wisconsin managed its abundant natural resources based on sound science, wise economic investments, fair and open public process, and a shared conservation ethic. In the last six years that tradition has been eroded.

Wisconsins Green Fire believes Wisconsins citizens deserve better. We believe there are many in Wisconsin who feel, as we do, that a state as beautiful and bountiful as ours deserves thoughtful stewardship. said WGF board member, Nancy Larson, who retired in the past year from WDNRs water program.
Wisconsins Green Fire will help local units of government, nonprofit organizations, media, decision makers and citizens get the scientific information they need to address local and regional issues. The group will also be a source for those seeking experts who can and will take positions and bring scientific clarity and scrutiny to contentious and complicated environmental issues. Underpinning WGFs mission is the belief that scientific research, knowledge and education are a basis for ensuring clean water, air, and healthy ecosystems for the economic and social benefit of society.

In recent years, Wisconsins longstanding tradition of balancing natural resource conservation with human activities has been undermined, said Terry Daulton, a coordinator for Wisconsins Green Fire. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff is no longer able to fully sharetheir expertise with policy makers and the public. As a result, we are seeing new and unprecedented threats to Wisconsins water, air, lands and wildlife. Our goal is to be a voice for sound science in conservation.

The group takes its name from one of Aldo Leopolds essay, Thinking Like a Mountain. We decided to use Green Fire in our name to tie us to Wisconsins conservation hero, Aldo Leopold, Daulton said.

Leopolds land ethic relies on understanding that people are a part of
the land, every species has importance, and human activities must be in harmony with nature. It also tells us, as citizens and as scientists, that we all share a responsibility for the land, for one
another, and for future generations.
More information about Wisconsins Green Fire: Voices for Conservation, a website, and
opportunities to join and/or contribute will be available in coming months. For information now, you can contact

Wisconsins Green Fire: Voices for Conservation was formed in 2017 and supports the conservation legacy of Wisconsin by promoting science-based management of Wisconsins natural resources.

Organizational leadership available for interview:

Terry Daulton
Board Member and Coordinator, Wisconsins Green Fire
Mercer, WI

Bob Martini
Board Member, Wisconsins Green Fire; retired WDNR Water Resources
Rhinelander, WI

Kim Wright
Board Member, Wisconsins Green Fire; Executive Director, Midwest Environmental Advocates
Madison, WI

Retired Rick                                           Mar 6, 2017

Go to the 'What's New' page to read the Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants' letter, sent to the Joint Committee on Finance, regarding the Self-Insurance proposal.

News media support magazine                                           Mar 1, 2017

Outdoor columnist Pat Durkin's take on eliminating the DNR Magazine:

and from Steve Verburg on the Wisconsin State Journal:

Demand for DNR magazine runs high

Private Publishers say magazine doesn't hurt them:


Thomas R. Smith: Subscribe to DNR magazine and send message

Dear Editor: For only the second time in its history, the Birkebeiner, our nation's largest cross-country ski race, was canceled due to lack o

Demand runs high for DNR magazine Gov. Scott Walker wants to cut

Feb 28, 2017

Nearly 1,400 subscription requests came in after news coverage of Walker's plans to end the self-supporting conservation publication.


Mark Peacock: DNR magazine fills important niche

Feb 26, 2017

Dear Editor: Hey, I dont hunt and never seem to catch many fish, but I really appreciate the DNRs Natural Resources magazine. Regularly, it


DNR magazine is valued publication -- John Fett

Feb 24, 2017

I was saddened and angered by the news that Gov. Scott Walker plans to shut down publication of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine after


Cindy Watts: I'm signing me up for DNR's magazine

Feb 23, 2017

Dear Editor: I am so saddened by what has been happening in the state of Wisconsin. I lived most of my life in Illinois and look to Wisconsin

Bill Berry: Killing DNR magazine is latest assault on environment


Bill Berry: Killing DNR magazine is latest assault on environment

BILL BERRY | state columnist
Feb 21, 2017

The self-supporting magazine that Gov. Walker proposes eliminating has been around for a century.

Private publishers say DNR's magazine doesn't hurt them

Private publishers say DNR's magazine doesn't hurt them

Feb 21, 2017

Gov. Scott Walker's office denies cut is part of an anti-science agenda, but hasn't specified who popular, self-supporting magazine harms.

Plain Talk: Send a message to Scott Walker by subscribing to threatened DNR magazine

DAVE ZWEIFEL | Cap Times editor emeritus
Feb 20, 2017

The high-quality, self-supporting magazine that the governor wants to kill is less than $9 per year.


DNR magazine helps inform public -- Patrick Wolf

Feb 19, 2017

I recently read the article "DNR magazine cut seen as latest climate science scrub."

Contact your legislator to save DNR magazine                                           Mar 1, 2017

The proposed state budget would eliminate Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.

Eliminating the magazine would save taxpayers nothing. The magazine is entirely self supporting, including staff salary and benefits.

Over the years Wisconsin Natural Resources and its predecessor, the Wisconsin Conservation Bulletin have showcased the DNR programs we work on and explained the science behind them. Currently, the magazine is a popular part of the Patron license; with Patron holders getting a deal of paying only 2/3 the regular subscription price.

Please contact your legislator and/or members of the Joint Finance Committee and let them know you value the magazine and see no budgetary reason to end it but many educational reasons to continue it. Some 90,000 people receive the magazine.


The first step in contacting your legislator is knowing who your legislator is. The easiest way to do this is the tool found on the Legislatures home page, at In the center of that page is a link that says Who Represents Me? Click on that link and fill in the form to get the names of your state representative and senator.

If you do not have computer access, you can call your local town, village, or city clerks office to find out who represents you in the state Legislature. Your local library may be able to help you with this also.

There are of course several ways that you can contact your legislator:

Phone. You can contact your legislator by phone, in the district, or at his or her Capitol office in Madison. You can find these phone numbers on the members home pages. To find these, go to the Legislatures home page, at, click on Assembly or Senate, and then click on Representatives Home Pages or Senators Home Pages.
In addition, you may leave a message for your legislators Capitol office or indicate your position on legislation through the toll free Legislative Hotline, at 1-800-362-9472.
E-mail. The e-mail addresses of members of the Wisconsin Legislature all have the same format. For members of the Assembly, the form is; for members of the Senate, the form is
Mail. You can reach your legislator by mail at one of the following addresses:
◦Representatives whose last names begin with a letter from A to L:
◾P.O. Box 8952, Madison, 53708-8952
◦Representatives whose last names begin with a letter from M to Z:
◾P.O. Box 8953, Madison, 53708-8952
◦All Senators:
◾P.O. Box 7882, Madison, 53707-7882

Retired Rick                                           Jan 31, 2017

From: Schmoller, Michael R - DNR

Subject: Linda Hanefeld Retirement

Ok, at the end of next week Linda is hanging it up. Her and Mike will be moving on to a life after WDNR. To celebrate this occasion on Wednesday February 1 there will be cake and refreshments in the Gathering Waters/Glaciers Edge Meeting Rooms from 10- noon. After that we will be going to lunch and then after work we will be going to the Great Dane to celebrate.

Hope all of you can attend

R. Michael Schmoller
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Phone: 608-275-3303

Lyman Wible op-ed opposing DNR split                                           Jan 27, 2017

Wible: The business case for not splitting up the DNR

Lyman Wible Published 5:38 p.m. CT Jan. 26, 2017 | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Retired from 16 years as a consulting engineer and 22 earlier years at the Department of Natural Resources and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, I oppose plans to split up the DNR. An agency split would be a mistake for jobs in Wisconsin.

In 1967, the DNR was created from environmental, health and conservation agencies as an efficient and effective way to deal with complex environmental problems.

The state's future economy will not thrive without the quality of life to attract and retain a modern workforce; notably, education, environment and infrastructure are critical. Dismantling the state's environmental agency is a major step in the wrong direction.

The business case is clear: A single, integrated agency has helped increase and protect private sector jobs and stimulate new types of jobs while doing so in a cost-efficient manner. While contrary to some political perceptions, the successes are many-fold.

Jobs increased when:

In the pulp and paper pollution cleanup, DNR fishery biologists and engineers figured out how to factor in the flow, temperature and biology of the rivers to set site-specific pollution limits. This reduced uncertainty and compliance costs for dischargers. Over the next 20 years, industrial capacity increased two- to three-fold while pollution loadings were reduced by 95%. Only broad integrated natural resources knowledge made this possible.

Wisconsin's rivers became first in the nation to meet fishing and swimming standards. Riverfront businesses cut doors and windows into their back walls to enjoy their formerly polluted riverfront. Riverside property values increased in Green Bay, and along the northern and southern Fox rivers, on the Wisconsin River and Milwaukee's rivers. This led to upscale riverwalks, restaurants, parks, stores and new housing. Clean rivers and lakes supported stronger tourism and new water-based recreation businesses. Investors, tax revenues and jobs were winners. DNR engineers could do this only with close intra-agency contact with fishery and wildlife biologists.

Jobs were protected when:

Acid rain was found, then studied by DNR researchers and addressed, allowing Wisconsin utilities and paper industries to negotiate early favorable contracts for low-sulfur coal. This merged engineering and biological work served these industries well, reducing energy costs and improving their competitiveness. Working with businesses, state fish consumption advisories were refined by environmental monitoring, fishery and wildlife staffs. Acidified lakes recovered. Few states have the combined natural resource and environmental protection authorities to score such a world-class environmental achievement.

Different professions addressed pulp mill sludge problems, leading to new in-plant production technologies making these mills more competitive. Credit for this major success goes to industry and a multidisciplinary, integrated DNR.

New jobs were invented when:

Fish kills from cheese whey disposal were documented by DNR fish managers and wardens, who then worked with DNR environmental staff and the dairy products industry. Proper management practice uses whey not as waste, but for valuable byproducts.
Environmental laboratories and consulting became productive national service businesses.

These and many other successes were possible because of a strong interdisciplinary, integrated DNR. New and saved jobs in smart competitive businesses were a key result of these environmental and public health efforts.

New jobs will be needed in a changing world. Do we want to surrender this type of job creation at a time when highly challenging biological and chemical environmental problems are facing our state and nation? These threats are opportunities if we face them with an integrated DNR.

My former consulting clients in the chemical, paper, foundry, agriculture and transportation sectors succeeded by making good bets when they saw them. Splitting the DNR is a losing gamble.

Lyman Wible of Middleton has a 40-year career in engineering and environmental management, water resources and industrial consulting. He was chief environmental engineer at SEWRPC, a DNR administrator, and a principal at Kestrel Management Services, LLC.

Wisconsin State Journal editorial, 1/25/17                                           Jan 25, 2017


Gov. Scott Walker's divide and conquer" strategy, originally aimed at labor unions, shouldn't be applied to the state Department of Natural Resources.

The Republican governor should reject a state lawmaker's plan to scatter the DNR's duties across five agencies, two of which would be new departments.

Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, claims the DNR "is not working in its current form," but he offers little evidence or specific concerns to justify his divisive proposal. He wants to separate environmental protection from fish and wildlife programs - even though they are intimately related. Jarchow also would move forestry management to the Department of Agriculture, and divert state parks to the Department of Tourism.
Sen. Rob Cowles, R-Green Bay, a leading voice on environmental issues and chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, wisely opposes Jarchow's plan.

"To break up an agency and create more bureaucracy and more confusion, it doesn't appeal to me at all," Cowles said last week.
"It would make things more confusing, more expensive, and deter from the ultimate mission of the DNR: to protect the resources in a reasonable way."

Amen to that.

The governor's own DNR secretary, Cathy Stepp, said she hopes her agency isn't split up in the next state budget. She has been working on a reorganization plan to consolidate, rather than disperse, DNR functions.

Five of Stepp's predecessors, serving Republican and Democratic administrations, have criticized Jarchow's idea. They warned this month that a sliced up agency would increase cost, slow the state's response to pollution and undermine efforts to preserve quality hunting grounds and fishing holes. Decisions on forest management, for example, would be made in four separate state agencies, under Jarchow's plan. Currently, the former DNR leaders said, the DNR's forestry division does all of that work for parks, fisheries, wildlife and natural areas.

Republicans often tout smaller government. But Jarchow's proposal would inevitably create more government offices and higher-paid administrators who would be less coordinated and less efficient in getting the job done while balancing competing interests.

That's not to say the DNR can't improve. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have made streamlining DNR decisions a priority in the past. Common sense sometimes can get lost in the agency's many regulations. And decisions to grant or deny permits can take too long.

But none of that justifies breaking this
vital agency into pieces.

The governor, who called Jarchow's proposal "interesting," should quickly discard it so Republicans who run the statehouse can focus on improving, rather than dissolving, the DNR

Ron Semmann's op-ed opposing DNR split                                           Jan 25, 2017

Don't wreck the DNR because the Issues are tough

Two legislators and perhaps the Governor are discussing the value of splitting the DNR into a myriad of agencies. Past Secretaries have indicated their major concern with this, and I join with them.
In 1968, after the Kellett Commission and the legislature finished the state reorganization, as a Personnel Specialist with the Department of Administration, I was assigned the task of analyzing every job in the prospective new agency to determine classification and pay levels. In doing so, it became apparent that the various disciplines were being properly assigned to the new agency because of their interdependence and obvious linkage (e.g. fish management and water management ). To reflect this, we created job titles of Natural Resource Specialist, Manager and Administrator, reflecting a broadened and more realistic view of the jobs.
Every several years, this idea of splitting the DNR comes to the fore. In the many years of my state employment, in part as a DNR Deputy Secretary, I learned that the issues drive problems, not the organizational placement. So one must confront the tough issues and not blame them on the fact that they fall under the DNR. In other words, don't create costly and complex new organizational structures in the hopes of solving the problem, deal with the problem.
The DNR has many functions and responsibilities. For the most part, they belong together under one umbrella agency. Adding untold administrative costs by spreading the responsibilities around will add public confusion and administrative complexity.

Ronald Semmann
Former Deputy Secretary

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