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

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

Retired Rick                                           Jan 22, 2017

Dale Allen Zaug, of rural Marion, age 76, passed away at home on Jan. 18, 2017, from Glioblastoma, Stage 4 Brain Tumor, which was first diagnosed in June of 2015.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at 12 noon at ST. PETER'S LUTHERAN CHURCH - BIG FALLS, N10685 Petersen Road, Marion, Wis., with visitation beginning at 11 a.m. The Rev. Janice Kuder will officiate and inurnment will be at Big Falls Cemetery in the spring. The Beil-Didier Funeral Home, Marion, is assisting the family.

Full obituary on the What's New page.

Former secretaries' letter opposing DNR split                                           Jan 18, 2017

Former DNR Secretaries

January 10, 2017
Governor Scott Walker
State Capitol
Madison, Wisconsin 53703

Re: Proposal to Split the Department of Natural Resources into Five State Agencies

Dear Governor Walker:
The following six former DNR Secretaries serving for 36 years from 1975 through 2011 urge you and the Legislature not to adopt the current proposal to split the Department of Natural Resources into five state agencies. The six Secretaries have served under several Republican and Democratic Governors.

The current unitary organizational structure of DNR was created under Republican Governor Warren Knowles and approved by a Republican Legislature. The unitary organizational structure was recommended by the Kellett Commission chaired by Bill Kellett, the former President of the Kimberly Clark Corporation. The purpose of the Commission's recommendations in creating the current Department of Natural Resources from a number of other agencies was to bring together all the closely interrelated conservation and environmental functions to increase government efficiency and effectiveness, reduce costs and to provide one focal point for Wisconsin citizens to have their conservation and environmental problems addressed.

It is our experience from administering the agency that the issues that the DNR deals with on a daily basis require constant interaction between the Department's 25+ Bureaus. Just a few examples of the difficulties caused by the separation of these programs into five agencies are:

1. There is a close interaction between fisheries and water quality and water regulation functions. This is both at a policy level, an environmental permitting level and when specific problems arise, just a few examples are dealing with fish kills; setting lake and stream standards; alteration of streams, lakes and wetlands; and dealing with urban and agricultural runoff to name just a few. The strength of the Kellett Commission Reorganization was the recognition that one agency should coordinate that necessary interaction to assure that we had healthy lakes and streams to maintain the quality fishery wish is important to sportsmen and women and the state's tourism.

2. Currently DNR has credentialed law enforcement staff in Parks, Forestry and the Bureau of Law Enforcement that houses Wisconsin's conservation wardens who enforce both conservation and environmental laws. Secretary Stepp has recently combined all these DNR law enforcement functions into the Bureau of Law Enforcement to save costs and promote more organizational effectiveness. Under the proposed agency split there would be law enforcement responsibilities in the Fish and Game agency for fish and wildlife, in the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for Forestry, the Department of Tourism for Parks and the new Environmental Agency for civil and criminal environmental violations. It should be noted that neither the DATCP nor Tourism currently has credentialed law enforcement experience. The law enforcement split would also be very confusing to citizens when they counter an environmental or conservation violation and wish to report the violation.

3. Forest management and wildlife management are highly correlated resource management functions. This applies to both game management and nongame and endangered species. The management of DNR's 600,000 acres of State Forest lands and policy oversight of 2.4 million acres of County Forest Lands and 3.3 million acres of Managed Forest Law lands are critically important to maintaining and in some cases increasing individual wildlife species. The involvement of the Forestry program with the Wildlife Bureau in game management programs and the Natural Heritage Conservation Bureau in nongame and endangered species is critically important in setting policy for the management of forest lands and often on daily land management decisions. Under the proposed DNR split three agencies (Fish and Wildlife, DATCP and the Department of Environmental Protection would have to be involved in the long term policy setting and daily operational decisions about the wildlife on these lands.

It should also be noted that the current DNR Forestry program also does all the forestry management on Fishery areas, Wildlife areas, State Natural Areas and State Parks. Under the DNR split proposal you would have forest management decision making and coordination under four state agencies (Fish and Wildlife, DATCP, DEP and Tourism).

One of the major examples given by the DNR split proponent is the lower deer population in Northern Wisconsin. While there are other causes of the reduced Northern Deer Herd such as winter weather and predators, the major reason for the lower deer numbers in the North is the maturity of the forest. The Legislature has sought to address this maturity in part by increasing the percentage of acres in State Forests to be actively harvested and by focusing DNR foresters' responsibilities on DNR land management including park, forestry, fish, wildlife and state natural area lands. Under the proposed DNR split you would now have the Forestry Program and the Wildlife Program in two agencies complicating the ability to continue the current DNR effort to increase deer habitat in Northern Wisconsin. This would clearly be counterproductive to the proponent's stated goal of increasing the Northern deer herd.

4. Currently the DNR's Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation has the responsibility to set state nongame and endangered species (both animal and plant) policies and for the management of the 681 State Natural Areas which are managed for their nongame and endangered wildlife and for rare plant species. Under the DNR split proposal, policy and management of those lands will be split into four agencies (Fish and Wildlife, Tourism, and DATCP and DEP). This would be costly and far less effective to do than under the current agency structure.

Governor Walker, we have addressed just a very few of the many policy and day-to-day management activities that are closely coordinated by having a unitary Department of Natural Resources. There are scores of other such interactions that are critically important to manage Wisconsin's Natural Resources in and effective and efficient manner.

We would like to address three other issues relating to the proposed DNR split:

1. The current Natural Resources Board has oversight responsibilities over all state natural resource management programs and is able to assure that the DNR is managing those programs in a coordinated manner. The Natural Resources Board has provided average Wisconsin citizens direct access to the Board as decision makers on all conservation and environmental policy decisions. Under the proposed DNR split, only the Fish and Wildlife Agency will have a conservation based board. While the Forestry program will have the DATCP board for citizen access, that board undoubtedly will have an agricultural direction and not an integrated natural resource management expertise. The Parks program, all of the state environmental programs and the Stewardship program will not have citizen board oversight allowing direct citizen input. Along with citizens in general, conservation and environmental organizations that focus on broad integrated natural resources management, including the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, will have to work with five different state agencies in order to represent their citizen members on conservation and environmental matters.

2. Current information on the proposed DNR split plan indicates that the split will not have any additional costs to the Wisconsin citizens in taxes or license fees. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau however indicates that there will be significant future costs from the split. The state of Michigan is a perfect example. In 1995 the Governor of Michigan, by Executive Order, split the Michigan DNR into two agencies, a conservation agency and an environmental agency. The Michigan's equivalent of our Legislative Fiscal Bureau documented that the cost of the split was $4 million. However since no additional state funds were provided to complete the split, the costs were absorbed by cutting the agency's front line staff which provided direct services to the public.

As pointed out by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau the proposed Wisconsin DNR split will have significant personnel costs. The new DEP will have several new high level staff including a Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Assistant Deputy Secretary, Division Administrators and additional Bureau Directors and Section Chiefs for the typical agency administrative functions such as Human Resources, IT, Legal Services, Public Information, Budget and Fiscal Management. Also the movement of the Forestry program to DATCP will double the size of that agency and the addition of the Parks program to Tourism will increase that agency tenfold. The expansions of those agencies will result in increased compensation for all of the above mentioned Office of the Secretary and administrative bureaus in both of those agencies.

A DNR split into five agencies will also lead to significant disruption to the functions of the current DNR as the split is planned and implemented, all at loss of services to Wisconsin's citizens.

3. Lastly, the proponent of the DNR split into five agencies correctly indicates that several other states have divided their conservation and environmental functions into two or more agencies.
As former agency Secretaries who had frequent interaction with other states' Conservation and Environmental Directors, the feedback we received from those individuals was that they were jealous of the Wisconsin integrated agency natural resource system since it allowed effective and efficient coordination of the many complex issues that are interrelated between conservation and environmental programs. Wisconsin should not move backward in natural resource management by splitting the DNR.

Governor, we hope that this information is helpful in your assessment of the proposal to split the DNR into five separate agencies. We remain available to you and your staff to address the information in this letter or any other related questions you may have.

Sincerely yours,

Anthony S. Earl, Former Secretary Bruce Braun, Former Deputy Secretary
1975-1980 On behalf of
C.D. 'Buzz' Besadny, Former Secretary

George E. Meyer, Former Secretary Darrell Bazzell, Former Secretary
1993-2001 2001-2003

Scott Hassett, Former Secretary Matt Frank, Former Secretary
2003-2007 2007-2011

Cc: Wisconsin Legislature
Natural Resources Board
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp
DOA Secretary Scott Neitzel

ARC letter to lawmakers opposing DNR split                                           Jan 18, 2017

Wisconsin Association of Retired Conservationists
Madison, WI
33 Stacy Lane
Madison, WI 53716
January 11, 2017

RE: Proposal to split Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Dear State Representative:

The Association of Retired Conservationists--an organization of more than 300 foresters; conservation wardens; fish and wildlife managers and biologists; parks and recreation, and air and water quality professionals; and licensing and customer service specialists--strongly recommends against dividing Department of Natural Resources functions into separate agencies. Such a move would be a disservice to the people of Wisconsin, the sustainability of its natural resources and the health of its environment; and would undoubtedly increase costs, reduce service and response to conservation needs, create inefficiencies in integrating essential work, and cripple the ability to focus on the natural resources and environmental priorities of lawmakers.

There is wisdom and efficiency in DNR's integrated conservation and environmental functions, the proof most easily seen in our world-class hunting and fishing opportunities, our top-ranked state parks and bicycle trails, our nation-leading network of snowmobile trails, and our nationally-recognized clean air and clean waters essential to enjoying these pursuits. They are reflected in the record number of bald eagles now nesting in Wisconsin; our removal of osprey and trumpeter swans from the state endangered species list; the resurgence of lake sturgeon and walleye in Lake Winnebago; and in the economic and ecological renaissance of once contaminated rivers and harbors in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Racine and Marinette. The seamless current structure-though not perfect-for decades has provided a solid foundation for two of the state's top three economic engines--forest products and tourism.

These high quality natural resources that make Wisconsin a vacation, hunting and fishing destination, a healthy place to raise our children, and a quality of life attraction to businesses were the direct result of an integrated DNR. Stepping backward from that successful and proven structure is a mistake.

These are just a few examples of the benefits to citizens, our natural resources and the environment of an integrated DNR working with partners and citizens. More examples include:

*Integrated work teams assure our forests, parks and lands provide year-round recreational opportunities, habitat and food for wildlife, and raw products for industry. As well, these lands function as filters of our surface and groundwater, and protection against flooding.

*DNR's integrated customer call center (available an unprecedented 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week) is a one-stop resource where citizens can get a permit, license or tag; register a recreational vehicle; find a park; report emergencies, poaching and other violations; get regulations questions answered; or get connected with experts in all fields pertaining to the state's land, water, air, wildlife, fisheries and environment. In many cases, cross-trained customer service professionals are able to provide callers with a complete picture of requirements and contacts for outdoors projects.

*Developing boat access sites, which are so important to local economies, is a seamless collaboration of property management specialists, site engineers, fisheries technicians, water resource and stormwater engineers, grant specialists, aquatic invasive species technicians, and conservation warden recreational safety specialists. Proposed plans to split DNR would break siting boat landings into five different agencies, inevitably slowing and complicating the process.

*In a recent example, a storm that moved through northern Wisconsin left the Tuscobia Trail impassable with fallen trees and debris. After two failed attempts to find a contractor for the cleanup, fisheries and forestry utilized their programs' trained operators and heavy equipment to get the job done. Rapid response and sharing of such resources is one strength of a unified and responsive DNR, assuring the year-round efficient use of resources and staffs during their different busy seasons. As has been proven during many times of emergency, having priorities set by one administration enables a unified, fast response from all programs.

*Integrated work teams assure a single contact for business for meeting all land, air and water requirements. Splitting the agency would, for example, force a developer to consult one agency on endangered resources, another on wastewater or other water and air permits, and perhaps another for removing land from forest tax law enrollment. Getting approvals and permits from multiple agencies would cost developers more in time and preparation. Without DNR coordination assistance, environmental impact statements, U.S. EPA, U.S. Corps of Engineers, and other companion permits would be far more complex and time consuming to assemble, obtain public input, and complete. Priority of the projects would be subject to costly and time-consuming multiple agency administrations, approvals, goals and schedules.

*DNR has been particularly effective in providing emergency services in response to flood, fire and windstorm events. The effectiveness and efficiency of DNR's proven record in emergency response would be significantly impacted by a split, not only from an incident management perspective. but also in accounting for costs during the incident and recovery efforts following the incident. Recent examples of this would be the breach and subsequent draining of Lake Delton in 2008 and the Germann Road fire of 2013. The Town of Morrison well contamination integrated response team dealt with a large and severe manure spill that affected several waterways and area wells. This team set up a single post in the town hall where area farmers and property owners could come together and get needed permitting and financial assistance. Applications then were processed, evaluated, approved and issued in one evening and in one place.

*In addition, a consolidated DNR operates with shared information management, personnel, finance, specialized equipment, secretary's office and administrative functions. In a split DNR, this necessary internal infrastructure would have to be replicated across multiple agencies at increased cost to taxpayers.

DNR's administration under Secretary Cathy Stepp has just completed an extensive restructuring process to streamline the agency and improve agency responsiveness. Implementation has just begun. We strongly believe that this restructuring should be given an opportunity to work before considering dividing the agency. A division would disrupt services, bring with it a host of new and unknown challenges, build walls between services, create priority and goal-setting conflicts and communication problems, and would be extremely expensive and difficult to walk back. Perhaps most importantly, it also would deprive the department's clients and customers of the efficiency of 'one stop shopping' in their personal and business relationships with the department.

The members of the Association of Retired Conservationists, with literally thousands of years of combined experience in managing natural resources and the environment, voted unanimously to support maintaining the present integrated structure of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. We have worked within that structure and believe it is the most efficient and effective way to deliver high-quality environmental and natural resources service to Wisconsin's citizens and economy.


Laurel F. Steffes, President
Association of Retired Conservationists

Conservation Lobby Day is March 29                                           Jan 18, 2017

Save the Date!
Conservation Lobby Day is March 29
Dear Laurel,

It is back! Conservation Lobby Day 2017 is March 29!

Register here today.

Join us at the Monona Terrace and the State Capitol for this exciting day. You will join hundreds of conservation voters demonstrating their power and voicing their concerns to legislators.

Wisconsin is facing unprecedented threats to its drinking water, public lands, and its conservation heritage. In the face of these threats, Conservation Lobby Day 2017 offers you an opportunity to take direct action in defense of Wisconsin's natural resources.

This year's Lobby Day will be an exciting, engaging event. It will include speakers, opportunities for education, and time to convene with hundreds of your fellow conservation voters to fight together as well as socialize and network.

At Conservation Lobby Day 2017, you will:
*Get the inside scoop on the top issues facing our drinking water and public lands.

*Participate in a scheduled meeting with your state Senator and Representative's offices.

*Network, strategize, and make new friends with hundreds of other conservation-minded citizens from across the state.

*Attend trainings presented by professionals.

Register here today.

We will keep you updated on our website as the day draws nearer. For now, save the date -- March 29 -- and register so we know you are coming. I am very excited to see all of you. Your voices, energy, and conservation values send a powerful message to legislators. Truly, we cannot wait to get started!

Thank you for being a conservation voter,

Jennifer Giegerich
Legislative Director
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

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