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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Meeting Minutes

Wisconsin Association of Retired Conservationists

January 2023 Meeting minutes



Meeting was convened 1:30 with Laurel Steffes officiating


37 people attended the family style Chinese meal at Imperial Garden


Moment of science observed


Financial Report:  Treasurer Dick Steffes reported “about” $120 in savings and $50 in checking


Introduction of guests and new members:

Two people attended their second meeting and were unanimously approved:

Percy Mather

Nasrin Mohajerani


Three people attended their first meeting:

Steve Sisbach, introduced by Joe Brusca

Todd Ambs, introduced by Roger Larson

Mark Martin, introduced by Chuck Pils


Frank and Miller Report:  Bob Schaefer gave an update on pensions.  Five year leveling on regular pensions could result in one to two per cent increases on pensions.  Recent stock market declines will likely unfavorably affect variable pensions.  He will know more in March.  Bob is currently the ARC representative to the Coalition of Annuitants.


Old business:


New business:

*Mary Farmiloe brought a box full of DNR logo shirts for people to take.  Because of the logos they could not go to Goodwill or Saint Vincents.  The shirts were collected by the video team when doing DNR shoots.  All the shirts were adopted.


*DNR has a new secretary, Adam Payne, current Sheboygan County Administrator.  He has a number of conservation projects on his resume including the clean up of the Sheboygan River.  Preston Cole has resigned and so has Communications Director Sarah Hoye, who implemented a strict no talking to news media or clubs policy without Office of Communication approval. Steffes expressed hope that that policy would now be softened.  Steffes promised to invite the new secretary to speak to our group.  His appointment needs Senate approval.


*The slate of ARC officers is normally elected at the January meeting.  However, due to illness and travel some of the current officers were not in attendance. Rather than potentially electing officer in absentia, the group voted unanimously to move elections to February.


*A question was raised as to why two picnics are listed on the website.  Steffes explained that ARC is down to four restaurants within reasonable rates.  Since Covid many restaurants are adding room rental charges to the cost of food, sometimes as high as $250 and that is out costing reasonable luncheon costs for members.  Angelos caters our picnics and offers excellent rates and a popular buffet, so we have scheduled two picnics to take advantage of that.  Linda Netzer is continuing to explore and interview other restaurants to find reasonable options.  She welcomes suggestions.  We need a private or semiprivate room capable of accommodating 40-50 people.


Death and Illnesses: 

Barbara Besadny, wife of the late Secretary Buzz Besadny, has died.  Her obituary is in the January 4 Wisconsin State Journal.



Laurel and Dick Steffes recently returned from Cancun and Tulum and visited Chichen Itza.

Mary Farmiloe recently returned from scuba diving in the Caribbean.


Meeting adjourned at 2 p.m.


The next meeting is scheduled for February 1 at the Vintage Brewery on South Whitney Way