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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What's New in 2016?

Member Since Name Years of Service Div/Bureau
January Mary Farmiloe 24 I&E
January John Nielsen 30 Forestry
February Tim Andryk 29 Legal
February Al Kaas 32 Fisheries
March Sharon Cook 6 Admin
March Grace Cudney 29 Finance
March Cheryl Goodman 32 Fisheries
March Charlie Kilian 33 WM
March Carol Nielsen 31 Forestry

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to see the 2015 Annual Coalition Conference minutes.

Lewis, Steve

Steve Lewis, who grew up playing on the Yahara River, Cherokee Marsh, and Lake Mendota, died February 28, 2016 at home in Madison. He was 72 and a lifetime Madisonian.

Steve's love of the water led to his career at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, where for more than 25 years, he worked as a landscape architect/park planner, construction representative, and project manager. His professional reach was international, serving as President of the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) and as a member of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) Boating Facilities Committee.

Steve was born on Madison's east side on February 3, 1944, the son of Hugh and Gladys Lewis. After graduating from Madison West High School in 1962, he attended UW-Madison, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture. As a proud member of the UW Marching Band, he played his cornet at the 1963 Rose Bowl, one of the "greatest bowl games of all time."

Steve gave back to his community and cherished his family and friends around the world. He was a member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, president of the Hill Farm Swim Club, and Commodore of the Mendota Yacht Club. He enjoyed sailing, bicycle riding, photography, traveling (especially to Door County), and spending time with his family and Labrador Retrievers. He considered himself lucky to own two, Major Decision and Vigilant Ranger Boy--truly his best friends. Just like Steve, they were active, friendly, and outgoing.

Steve fully embraced life. He loved feeling the wind on his face as he sailed and cruised around Lake Mendota, traversed area bike trails, and drove his beloved red convertible through the countryside. With his signature laughter and wry humor, he never lost his childlike sense of wonder at the world around him. One could picture him thinking, "It doesn't get any better than this. I'm a lucky man."

He is survived by Ellen (Gorman) Lewis, his wife of 46 years; his two children, Amy (Jeff) Levy of Eden Prairie, MN and Andrew Lewis of Madison; and his brother Robert Lewis of Middleton. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 12 at 11 a.m. at First Congregational Church, 1609 University Avenue in Madison.

Special thanks to Dr. David Hei, Nurse Sandy, Eldonna Hazen, Agrace HospiceCare, and Steve's wonderful family of friends for their care, generosity, love, and support. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gathering Waters or the Dane County Humane Society

Please share your memories of Steve.

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
(608) 238-3434

March 2016

Sharon Cook worked with the Department from 1977-1983 as Special Assistant to the Department Secretary and was the Legislative Liaison. Her duties included handling correspondence for the Secretary, speech preparation, and serving as Outreach Manager for Secretary Tony Earl and Buzz Besadny. She is still involved with the UW Sea Grant Advisory Council and serves in a Mayor Barrett appointment to the Milwaukee Management Counsel. In her spare time Sharon enjoys kayaking near her cabin in Manitowish Waters.

March 2016

After 29 years of state service, Grace Cudney retire on February 18, 2016, while on a six month sabbatical to Australia! Grace spent 15 years in WDNR-Finance where she was instrumental in the roll out of the state of the art WISMART finance system. She went on to spend 3 years at the Dept. of Agriculture and 13 years at Health and Social Services. She played on the WDNR Women's Softball Team, 'The Rough Diamonds', for 27 years!

March 2016

Cheryl Goodman retired in February of 2016 after a 35 year career with the Department, all with the Bureau of Fisheries in GEFII. Cheryl was the budget analyst for Fisheries and also worked with grant writing, capital development and work planning. She was instrumental in the renovation of the Wild Rose Fish Hatchery and planning and the building of a 60 foot Great Lakes Research vessel the Coregonus. Cheryl looks forward to volunteering opportunities and taking weaving classes.

March 2016

Charlie Kilian retired in 2012 with over 33 years of state service, including time spent with the Wyoming Fish & Game Dept! Here is Wisconsin, he spent many years working in Jefferson County with landowners as the private lands biologist. During his career he also spent time working out of GEF II in a posiiton that was half wetland species specialist and half disease specialist. Since retiring he spends lots of time outdoors fishing and hunting. He also enjoys spending time with his two grandchildren who live in Marshall.

March 2016

In July of 2015, Carol Nielsen retired after a 31 year career in the Division of Forestry. Starting in Hayward, she soon transferred to Dodgeville where she worked with landowners in Iowa County for 10 years. She promoted into the Managed Forest Law program in GEF II. After 13 years, she transferred to the Private Forestry program, also in GEF II. Since retiring, she is back in the field as half of the Nielsen & Nielsen Private Forestry Consulting business she owns with her husband, John. She also likes to travel, read, knit and take photos.

Lukins, Darlene

Darlene Lukins, age 85, died peacefully in her sleep on Thursday, February 25, 2016.

Darlene was born on August 21, 1930, in Bemidji, Minnesota, the daughter of Clarence and Lucile Peters. She had been a member of the Methodist Church, the Red Hat Society, the Gold Star Wives, the American Legion Auxiliary, Ducks Unlimited, the Friends of Mackenzie, the Columbia County Sportsman’s League, and the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary. Darlene had worked for the Department of Natural Resources at the Mackenzie Environmental Center until her retirement in 1989. She had a green thumb and her plants flourished inside and outside. She enjoyed feeding the birds and was a Master of crocheting doilies and bedspreads. She was a very loving mother and grandmother.

She is survived by her long-time companion, Roger Dorman; her children, Dwaine (Diane) Lukins, Diane Wallock and Dorina (Kevin Griffin) Lukins; two grandsons, Brian (Tammy) Lukins and Christopher Lukins; and one great-granddaughter, Courtney Lukins, who were all very special to her; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dale Lukins; and a sister, Lavonne Henderson.

Visitation will be held on March 4, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with a Sharing of Memories at 6:30 p.m. at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Poynette. Inurnment will take place at a later date at Hillside Cemetery.

February 2016

The Southeastern Winter Chapter of ARC met on February 23 in Estero, FL. Go to the Photos page to see all the fun!!

Rubesch, Joseph M.

Joseph M. Rubesch, age 92, of Lodi, passed away on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. He was born on Oct. 13, 1923, in Rice Lake, Wis., to Olga and Joseph H. Rubesch. Joe attended St. Joseph and public school in Rice Lake, and graduated in 1941.

He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and received his basic training at the Farragut Naval Training Station. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the USS Guadalcanal and attended the Point Loma Radar Training School in San Diego, Calif. The USS Guadalcanal was engaged in anti-submarine patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic. It was the only vessel in modern times to capture an enemy man-of-war, the German U-boat 505, off the East coast of Africa. Today the U-boat 505 is on display at the Museum of Industry and Science in Chicago. The Task Force was awarded The Presidential Unit Citation. After serving two years at sea, he was assigned to shore duty as Petty Officer in charge of the Naval Radar Base at Beavertail Point, R.I.

He was discharged from the Navy on Feb. 17, 1946. Joe was employed by the Wisconsin Conservation Department at Spooner, and in September of 1946 was assigned as a Conservation Warden serving at Hurley, Green Bay and Dodgeville. On June 1, 1958, he was promoted as a Special Investigator with the Bureau of Law Enforcement in Madison. On April 24, 1968, he was promoted to Chief of the Special Investigation Section, supervising operations directed at habitual and commercial violation in the state, and coordinating investigative efforts to curtail national illegal resource activities. He retired on Dec. 31, 1978, after serving more than 32 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Wisconsin.

Joe married Kathleen Russell on April 23, 1960, at St. Joseph's Church in Dodgeville. Joe was a charter member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Dodgeville, life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Brandt-Pache Post in Poynette and a member of the American Legion Post No. 0216 in Lodi. Joe was an honorary life member of St. Patrick's Knights of Columbus Counsel in Lodi and a 4th degree Life Member of the Holy Trinity Knights of Columbus Assembly of Waunakee. Other organizations with whom he was active are the Association of Retired Conservationists, Wisconsin Voyagers Chapter of the Family Motor Coach Association, National Rifle Association, USS Guadalcanal Task Group Association, Wisconsin Conservation Warden's Association and the United States Naval Memorial.

Joe enjoyed hunting and fishing in the Western States and Canada, traveling in the motorhome, woodworking and time spent at the cabin on the Flambeau River. Joe also participated in being part of the honor flight for World War II Veterans in 2013.

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; a sister, Dorothy (LeRoy) Moore of Milwaukee; and numerous nieces and nephews. Joe was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Elaine Podoll of Milwaukee; and a brother, Francis (Joyce) of Spooner. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at BLESSED TRINITY CATHOLIC PARISH AT ST. PATRICK'S CHURCH, 521 Fair St., Lodi, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, with the Rev. Father Chad Droessler presiding. Burial will be at Northern Wisconsin Veteran's Memorial Cemetery.

Visitation will be at HAMRE GUNDERSON FUNERAL HOME, 157 S. Main St., Lodi, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, with a Rosary recited at 3:30 p.m. Online condolences may be made at

Hamre Gunderson
Funeral & Cremation Care
157 S. Main Street, Lodi
(608) 592-3201

February 2016

Tim Andryk retired in January of 2016 after completing a 29 year career. Starting in Wildlife Management, Tim worked with the Bureau's planning, budget and personnel issues. He moved to the Legal Section where he represented Fish, Wildlife, and Stewardship for 24 years. For the last 4 years he was the Chief Legal Counsel for WDNR. For the next several months he will be helping family move, will ski in his second Birkebeiner, looks forward to more hunting and fishing and already says, "State retirement is a GOOD deal"!!!

February 2016

Al Kaas retired in January of 2015 with over 32 years of service, all within the Water Division's Fisheries program. Starting at the Nevin Fish Hatchery as Assistant foreman, after 4 years he promoted to the Supervisor of the Lake Mills Hatchery. Twelve years later, he transferred to GEFII as the Fish Production Coordinator, a job he held for 10 years before promoting to the Fish Culture Section Chief. Beside tackling his 'honey do' list, Al enjoys traveling to see his children in Waukesha and California. He also like to fish, hunt and shoot.

Trow, Karen M.

Karen M. Trow, age 66, passed away peacefully on Monday, February 1, 2016. She was born in Stoughton on April 21, 1949, the daughter of Morris and Elizabeth Trow.

Karen graduated from Stoughton High School in 1967. She worked for the State of WI, DNR, for over 40 years until her retirement in January 2013. Karen enjoyed spending time with her family. She is survived by two sons, Bryant (Jennifer) Hofmeister, and Wes (Sarah) Gill; four grandchildren, Breezy, Brynn, Bentley, and Balen; father, Morris; two sisters, Diane Kelly and Julie (Kent) Belville; numerous nieces and nephews; many extended relatives; and friends. Karen was preceded in death by her mother; and brother, James Trow.

Memorial services will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at Christ Lutheran Church, 700 County Road B, Stoughton, with Rev. Paula Geister-Jones officiating. Friends may greet the family from 10:00 AM until the time of services Thursday.

Please share your memories of Karen.

Cress Funeral Service
206 W. Prospect Street
Stoughton, WI 53589
(608) 873-9244

Fix, Steve

Steven M. Fix, age 69, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. He was born Jan. 11, 1947, in Madison, the son of Phillip and Eileen (Runey) Fix. He graduated from Central High School in 1965 and from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1969 majoring in History with minors in Geography and Secondary Education. He earned a Masters of Science in Cartography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1976.

Steve taught history classes at Tomah High School from 1969 to 1974. While at Tomah, Steve met Mary Fonstad. They were married on April 1, 1972. Steve taught geography at Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven Connecticut from 1976 and 1977 and worked for the Department of Defense in St. Louis, Mo., from 1977 to 1978.

Steve began a 30 year career with the State of Wisconsin in 1979 working on environmental issues with the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the Public Service Commission. He continued to be active in the environmental arena after retirement working on a water resource management plan, a lake restoration project, and rain gardens. He was a citizen member of three City of Madison committees: the Board of Public Works, Long Range Transportation Planning Committee, and was Chair of the City's Committee on the Environment.

Steve had lifelong interests in Russian history, maps of all kinds, water resources, traveling back roads, visiting major and minor league baseball parks, birding, hiking in the woods, singing in the symphony and opera choruses and getting to wear great hats in opera productions, being kind to cats and dogs, playing sheepshead and bridge and chocolate desserts (without peanut butter, please). Steve is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary; children, Peter Fix and Ann (Fix) Taillon; grandchildren, Kyria and Liam Taillon; mother, Eileen Fix; brother, Stanley Fix; and sister, Linda (Fix) Guerin. He was preceded in death by his father, Phillip Fix.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. A visitation will be from 1 p.m. until the time of the service on Saturday at the funeral home. The family invites you for dessert and coffee immediately following the service at the funeral home.

Those wishing to express their sympathy with a memorial may wish to consider contributing to Opera for the Young, Madison Community Foundation, Foundation for Madison Public Schools, Madison Urban Ministry or Second Harvest.

Cress Funeral Service
206 W. Prospect Street
Stoughton, WI 53589
(608) 873-9244

EPA Retiree letter to PCA

Midwest Environmental Advocates Executive Summary

January 2016

After 24 years with WDNR Mary Farmiloe retired on January 4, 2016! Staring at the Thorton Ave location her unit was eventually moved into GEFII. Mary worked in the Bureau of I&E her whole career, working with electronic media including script writing for WDNR television and radio spots. In later years she worked with YouTube and Twitter media. In her spare time Mary loves to scuba dive. Her most recent dive trip was to the Cayman Islands and she is planning a dive trip to the Maldives in July. Next on the list is a trip to Cuba!!

We’re happy to announce today a new addition to our suite of animal-themed projects: from the land of cheese, badgers, and the Green Bay Packers comes Wisconsin Wildlife Watch, a journey into the Midwestern forests of America’s Dairyland in search of deer and elk, bears and hares, and everything wild in between!

Like Snapshot Serengeti, Chicago Wildlife Watch, and WildCam Gorongosa, Wisconsin Wildlife Watch lets you explore never-before-seen camera trap photos of wild animals. Working alongside a science team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, you’ll be taking part in valuable ecological research and helping ecologists better understand the trends, distribution, and ecosystems of these critters.

There are over 40 species to search for, and thousands upon thousands of photos to dive into. As always, anyone can participate, from kids to grandparents. Whether you love wildlife, citizen science, or just helping out, come join the Wisconsin Wildlife Watch team today and discover the hidden world of Wisconsin’s animals.

Please also come chat with the researchers on the WWW Talk, and check out the project’s blog. The team is looking forward to working with you—happy hunting!


Darren and the Zooniverse team