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.

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Important Timely News

Retired Rick                                           Jul 8, 2016

Walter J. Adams, 81, of Campbellsport, long time Superintendent of the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit passed away Thursday, June 30, 2016, at the Hospice Home of Hope, Fond du Lac.

See What's New page for obituary.

Roger Larson and Dave Marshall                                           Jul 7, 2016

This is an open invitation to ARC members and other retired and current DNR staff to celebrate the accomplishments of retired DNR staff at an event organized by the River Alliance of Wisconsin on Sunday August 14 at the Mead Education and Visitor Center near Millador, Wisconsin near Stevens Point and Marshfield. This celebration will provide an opportunity to reconnect with field staff and share past experiences. Details of this event are listed below:

Celebrating Your Career in Conservation

Join us to honor the men and women who have retired from their service to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. A celebratory event benefiting the River Alliance of Wisconsin.

*Commune with colleagues (past and present). Find out 'Where are they now?'
*Commiserate (a bit) about the state of natural resource protection in Wisconsin.
*Celebrate the good work done by the people at the DNR.
*Support the River Alliance's work to save Wisconsin's rivers.

Sunday, August 14

3:00pm - 6:00pm

Stanton E. Mead Education & Visitor Center
S2148 County Hwy S
Milladore, WI 54454
(Between Stevens Point and Marshfield)

Tickets are $50 per person (includes cookout style dinner and beer).
Purchase tickets online at:

Proceeds will benefit water conservation and citizen advocacy programs managed by River Alliance of Wisconsin.

Generously sponsored by:
Dave Clausen, Matt Frank, George Meyer, Dave Marshall, Bob and Kathy Martini, Ken Schreiber and Anita Adams, Gordon Stevenson

DuWayne Gebken                                           Jun 30, 2016

Albert Kwallek, warden at Lancaster has passed away. He was a stalwart on Mississippi River issues during the early fights with the Corps of Engineers on dredge spoil disposal, going so far as offering to impound the dredge Thompson and throw the captain in jail. Can you see that happening today? RIP Albert. Kwallek, Albert J. Jr.

Retired Rick                                           Jun 29, 2016

Jeanice W. Harrington, age 90, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 27, 2016. See What's New page for obituary.

Laurel Steffes                                           Jun 22, 2016

this message was sent 6/22 to all DNR staff:
From: Passno, Amber D - DNR
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 10:10 AM
Subject: Recruitment and Retention Reform Implementation

This message is being sent to all DNR staff.

Good Morning,

We'd like to update you on the efforts taken by the Department of Administration's Division of Personnel Management (DPM) and Human Resource professionals around the state to modernize Wisconsin's recruitment and retention tools so they are more clear, concise, and consistent.

Legislation was signed in February 2016 to give State agencies more efficient, effective and streamlined tools to manage a changing workforce. With 40% of state employees' eligible to retire within 10 years, we must have a system that expedites the hiring process, rewards outstanding performance, and creates consistent and clear rules to be followed across state government.

Since the signing of the bill, more than 200 Human Resources professionals from agencies around the state have participated in discussions about how to implement the changes set to take effect on July 1, 2016.

It's important to note the legislation did not impact the foundational principles of civil service. Employees still serve in classified positions and there are no changes to employee benefit programs. While many of the provisions included in the legislation may never impact you as a state employee, the highlights of the changes being implemented include:

The expected hiring timeline will shorten from the current 105 days to 60 days. Most of you have participated in this lengthy hiring process and understand the frustration of applicants. The hiring process will remain open, competitive and based on merit. Some specifics include:
*All hiring processes will require an application and a resume. Agencies may still create and administer civil service exams if they determine that is the best method of evaluation. Agency Human Resources staff will work with supervisors to determine the most effective and efficient selection processes from application through interview.
*Recruitments already in process will continue using current hiring processes. Some hiring times, such as law enforcement positions with extensive background checks, will continue to take longer than 60 days.
*On July 1, you will notice minor changes to and to the DPM website (formerly the OSER website). New technology and recruiting strategies are being developed and we expect to launch a new hiring website and mobile interface in March 2017.

Work Rules
Work rules will become consistent across state government so employees have consistent expectations. These rules will be fair, reasonable and clearly communicated to all employees. Agencies may add policies related to specific agency requirements to the standard work rules, which are attached to this message. Please note that these work rules are very similar to those already in place at the DNR.
*All changes to work rules and agency specific policies will be effective by September 1, 2016. Employees will be provided notice of the new work rules and receive a copy prior to implementation. (For your immediate information, a copy of the standard work rules is attached to this message.)
*Due process and just cause remain key components of the disciplinary process.
*All agencies will now use the same progression system for discipline with one track for all types of infractions (attendance and misconduct).
o The progression is as follows:
 1 day suspension
 3 day suspension
 5 day suspension
 Separation
o All employees with current discipline on file will receive a letter identifying where they will be placed on the new progression.
o Employees are able to earn back levels of discipline. One level is earned back for each year the employee receives no further discipline.
o Written reprimands are no longer included as part of the discipline process. An employee who has only received a written reprimand will be considered to have no formal misconduct under the new progression system.
o Letters of disciplinary suspension will be placed in the employee's personnel file and may not be removed except through the process of appeal, etc. Discipline on file remains with the employee if the employee moves between agencies.
*Nine serious acts of misconduct have been identified in statute. A violation of these rules may lead directly to separation from State service - no progressive discipline is required. (A copy of these nine serious acts is attached.)
*Letters of expectation regarding performance or behavior may be issued, but require review and prior approval of Human Resources. Issued letters will be placed in the employee's personnel file and may not be removed.

The grievance procedures have remained nearly the same. To make the process more efficient, timelines for each step are shorter and the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) is required to make a decision within 120 days of an appeal. Grievance forms will be available in electronic form within the next 30 days. All forms of adverse employment decisions specifically covered in the statute (demotion, suspension, involuntary transfer, etc.) continue to be grievable. Denial of a hazardous duty claim under s.230.36 is appealable directly to the WERC. Conditions of employment remain grievable. Employees may still raise any concerns to management or Human Resources for discussion.

Finally, when requested in advance, agencies are required to allow 30 minutes of conference or preparation time for the grievant and personal representative. This time will occur directly prior to the grievance hearing and is in without loss of pay status.

Additional Changes
*Transfers. Agencies will continue to manage an internal transfer process. The final vacancy must be posted for open competition with the public. Agencies will not be allowed to conduct service-wide transfer announcements.
*Probation. All new original, promotional, supervisory, and management positions will require a one year probationary period. This change does not impact any employee hired with an effective date prior to July 1, 2016 with a different probationary period. Career executives will continue to serve a two year trial period.
*Probation. Permissive probation (when you move between agencies or parts of your agency) will be 12 months, with the ability to waive after six months.
*Reinstatement. Employees who left state service without misconduct prior to July 1, 2016 may continue to apply as a reinstatement candidate for five years from the date they left. Effective July 1, 2016, this provision is eliminated and candidates who leave state service will apply through the regular recruitment process.
*Reinstatement for Layoff. Beginning July 1, 2016, any employee laid off from state service will have reinstatement eligibility for three years from the effective date of the layoff.
*Restoration. Restoration is a mandatory right of appointment and has always been very limited. Employees laid off prior to July 1, 2016, who were given restoration rights will continue to have restoration right for three (3) years from the date of the layoff. Restoration continues with no changes upon return from military leave or service to an unclassified appointment.
*Layoff. Layoff processes will require a 60 day period with no separate at risk process. Performance is the primary factor in determining order of layoff and is followed by seniority and ability. Changes to this process require extensive revision to WI Administrative Code. As those changes are still underway, additional information will be provided at a future date.

Thank you for your attention to this message. FAQs will be available shortly to provide additional information. Please direct any questions to me at

We are committed to service excellence.
Visit our survey at to evaluate how I did.

Amber D. Passno
Director, Bureau of Human Resources
Internal Services Division
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Phone: (608) 266-6999
Cell Phone: (608) 225-7865
Fax: (608) 264-8858

Jerry Stein                                           Jun 8, 2016

PYARE SQUARE IS COMING DOWN!!! Pyare is being demolished and will be replaced by apartment buildings. The rear "L" is gone as of this date. Will try to send picture to Rick W. for posting on the Website.

Retired Rick                                           May 23, 2016

Marian Kathryn Genin, age 91, of Madison, died on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at Agrace HospiceCare.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, May 23, 2016, at 11 a.m. at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 602 Everglade Drive, Madison, WI 53717 with Father Bart Timmerman presiding.

Visitation will be at the church on Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass. A luncheon at the church will follow the Mass, and her burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery on Speedway Road, Madison.

Please share memories at

from Bob H.                                           Apr 10, 2016


My last day in service approaches soon- May 13.

I promised I would send out details as I and my family would like to host a celebration in recognition of 30 very rewarding years.

Our culture is such that we often forget to celebrate the good things and dwell on the tough stuff. Well, forget that! I would like to do this right- you are all a huge part of my life and happiness - so lets live and be happy together.

I have scoured my resources in an attempt to reach 30 + years of personal networks. I may have neglected to add a few folks - so share this please.

Please join us on May 14th. An electronic RSVP is requested so we can plan accordingly.

Click here for announcement!

See you there!

Kurt Welke
Fisheries Manager, Fisheries Bureau, Water Division
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
3911 Fish Hatchery Rd, Fitchburg Wi 53711

DuWayne Gebken                                           Apr 10, 2016

Here is the obituary for Clarence (Pat) Cline. Pat was my first supervisor at Black River Falls.

Retired' Rick                                           Apr 8, 2016

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