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:

What's New in 2017?

JanuaryJoyce Kidd26Finance
JanuaryGordon Kidd8Finance
FebruaryMaureen Connors37Water
FebruaryDixie Maier36CARE
MarchScot Stewart33Fisheries
AprilMartin Henert34Admin
AprilKurt Welke30Fisheries
MayRoy Pedretti26Human Resources
OctoberMike Foy30Wildlife Mgmt

Reuter, Judith C. (Anderson)

Judith C. (Anderson) Reuter, 83, passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. Judy was born on July 27, 1934, to Milo and Berdine (Ahrensmeyer) Anderson in Primrose Township, Dane County. Judy attended Nessa Rural School and New Glarus High School.

Her involvement in 4-H began at a young age, and she excelled at showing cattle in 4-H and Holstein Friesian Association, winning numerous awards in showmanship, including the inaugural Howard Clapp Memorial Award in 1949.

As an adult, she continued her participation as general and sewing leader for New Glarus 4-H Club. Robert and Judy shared their love of dairy farming, Holsteins and 4-H with their children through years of farming and participation in 4-H.

Judy united in marriage to Robert E. Reuter on June 28, 1953, at the Primrose Lutheran Church, rural Belleville. She retired in 1997, after years of working for the Department of Natural Resources. After retirement, she began working at the Swiss Historical Museum as a tour guide and cashier. She was a member of the Swiss Historical Society Board, serving as secretary and newsletter editor. She is also well known for providing the much loved bratzelis. She was a member of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. She was a strong and beautiful woman, and will be deeply missed by all.

Her life’s legacy is honored by her children, Robin Reuter of Monticello, Rick (Jennine) Reuter of Menomonee Falls, Rolane (Rick) Kuhnen of Pewaukee, Roxanne (Richard) Klossner of New Glarus, and Rhonda (David) Kimmel of Oak Creek; her grandchildren, Rory G. (Nicole) and Kristin M. Klossner, Robert W. (Nicole Andresen), Ross A. (Elizabeth Hall), Rhett M. (Jenna) Reuter and Matthew R. (Emily) Kuhnen; and her great-grandchildren, Samantha A. Sherman, Olivia J. and Sydney C. Klossner, and Noelle B. and Rhett Harrison Reuter; a brother, Milo Anderson of Waunakee; sisters, Joy (John) Freitag of New Glarus and Jan Silbaugh of Oregon; and sister-in-law, Ruth Anderson of Belleville.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert “Bob” Reuter; her parents, Milo and Berdine (Ahrensmeyer) Anderson; her brother, Thomas Anderson; brother-in-law, Charles Silbaugh; daughter-in-law, Belinda (Flanagan) Reuter; grandson, John R. Klossner; and granddaughter, Brittany A. Reuter.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, at 11 a.m. at SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS LUTHERAN CHURCH, 506 12th Ave., New Glarus, with the Rev. Gene Talley officiating, and burial in the Swiss Church Cemetery, New Glarus, Wis. Relatives and friends may call from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, at the ZENTNER-BEAL FUNERAL HOME, 29 6th Ave., New Glarus, Wis.

Memorials are suggested to the Robert and Judith Reuter Memorial Scholarship Fund. An online memorial with guestbook is available at:

Besadny, Bruce"

Bruce Besadny, age 64, passed away on Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

He was born on August 19, 1953, in Madison, the son of Carroll (Dennis) “Buzz” and Barbara (Aldrich) Smith Besadny. Bruce was married to Janet (Grosse Kottka) Besadny on June 23, 1984, in Middleton.

Bruce was an Eagle Scout and a Conscientious Objector to the Vietnam War. He graduated from Memorial High School in 1971 and the UW Madison in 1975.

Bruce worked on Workers’ Compensation for the Department of Natural Resources. He had a variety of interests and was an avid reader of varied subjects including Theoretical Physics and the Shroud of Turin, and many authors including Dean Koontz, Preston & Child, and Sigurd Olson. He was a horror movie buff and a poet, loved to learn, and especially enjoyed nature and music. Bruce was at his best being a Dad, and was part of a loving family, which he treasured most of all.

Bruce is survived by his loving wife Janet (Grosse Kottka) Besadny; son Ryan (Kottka) Besadny (Jennifer Loftus Besadny); daughter Caitlin (Besadny) Carton (Josh Carton); grandson William Besadny; mother Barbara Besadny; sisters Barb Roeber (Larry Black), Sarah Besadny (Jim Meiers), and Jean Garcia (Andy Garcia). He was preceded in death by his father C.D. “Buzz” Besadny and a niece, Andrea Garcia.

A Memorial Gathering for Bruce will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton from 1 PM until 2:30 PM on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

Memorials in Bruce’s name may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, Online condolences may be made at

Click on the photo above to read the 'State pension funds continue to fall behind. Here's how much you owe' article . . .

Click on the photo above to see the 'SWIB: A Stong, Steady Economic Pillar For Wisconsin' presentation . . .

Click on the arrow above to start video. Depending on the speed of your internet connection, it may take several seconds to load . . .

October 2017

Mike Foy will 'officially' retire in November of 2017 with over 30 years of service. He started his career in the Bureau of Wildlife Management in 1985 as an LTE and then worked for UW Extension for a year as a Wildlife Management Outreach Specialist. From 1987 – 1992, Mike served as the Private Lands Biologist for the Lake Michigan District before transferring to a similar position in the Madison Area. Since 1992, Mike has served as the County Wildlife Biologist for areas within Dane, Iowa, Rock and Green Counties. In his spare time Mikes like to hunt and fish.

Speth, Jerome J. "Jerry"

Jerome J. “Jerry” Speth, age 81, of Dodgeville, passed away on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Judi Speth; four children, Steve Speth of Tucson, Ariz., Paul (Andrea) Speth of Evansville, Wis., Stacy (Lori) Jones and Jason (Lisa) Jones, both of Dodgeville; six grandchildren, Hailey, Nicole, Courtney, Shelby, Sean Jones and Samantha Campuzano; as well as a younger brother, Joseph, in Houston, Texas; and many other family members and lifelong friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Julia Speth; a brother, Francis; and a daughter, Leanne.

Funeral services and Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, at the GORGEN-McGINLEY & AYERS FUNERAL HOME in Dodgeville. Rev. Jim Droste will officiate.

Burial will be held in East Side Cemetery with Military Rites accorded by the Dodgeville Area Veterans. Friends may call from 9 a.m. until time of services on Thursday at the funeral home. A lunch reception will follow at DODGE POINT COUNTRY CLUB in Mineral Point.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Jerry’s name to the Iowa County Cancer Coalition, P.O. Box 36, Cobb, WI 53526 or Upland Hills Health Foundation, 800 Compassion Way, Dodgeville, WI 53533.

Gorgen-McGinley & Ayers Funeral Home
400 E. Grace St., Dodgeville

Conrad, John Grey

John Grey Konrad, age 76, died peacefully at home after a short battle with pancreatic cancer, on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. He was born on April 9, 1941, at Madison General Hospital to Walter G. and Jane (Morrison) Konrad. On June 1, 2007, he was united in marriage to Violet M. Stensby-Lehmann. John is survived by his wife and best friend, Violet Konrad; his children, Marnie (Chris) Zander, Brian (Kristin) Konrad, and Dan (Kathleen Parsons) Konrad; his step-children, Candace (Kim Disrud) Lehmann and Tamar (Deena Ignatowski) Lehmann; his grandchildren, Sam Zander, Sydney Zander, Hannah Zander, Coby Zander, Nicole Konrad, and Alyssa Konrad; a brother, Richard (Barb) Konrad; a sister-in-law, Carol (Al) Antonson; his brothers-in-law, Glenn (Sandy) Stensby and Steve (Joan) Stensby; a niece, Linda (Tim) Bye; his nephew, Mark (Brenda) Konrad—Finley and Brody; step-nieces and nephews, Paul Antonson, Shanna Amble, Stacy Leverenz, Sarah Frosch, Scott Stensby, Angie Lombard, Allen Huseth, Peggy Santos, Linda Huseth, Sheila Booth, Leslie Steinberg, and their families.

John graduated from La Crosse Central High School and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in Soil Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

John worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in the Water Resources Research Program and for several years a joint appointment with the Soil Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was instrumental in developing programs for evaluating and managing the effects of land use activities on water quality in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the Great Lakes Basin including Canada.

John’s joy in life included adoring all of his children, step-daughters, and grandchildren. He loved attending their sporting events, especially soccer where he spent approximately 10 years as a referee for recreational and high school teams. John also enjoyed getting together for family outings and dinners. He was active in Amateur Radio since high school.

John and Violet loved doing the crossword and cryptoquote each morning in the paper as well as playing cribbage, euchre, hoss and pepper and dining out with friends, family, or just the two of them. John enjoyed his retirement years by being able to play golf all year round. In the summer, he always played twice a week at Pleasant View with his friends, Barry, Warren and Rick. In the winter, he would play in Arizona. He loved going on cruises with Violet’s family and friends.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, at GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH, 7291 County Road PD, in Verona. A visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. A catered luncheon will follow the service.

Please share your memories at Cress Funeral and Cremation

Widder, James J.

James J. Widder, age 82, of Dodgeville, died on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, at Upland Hills Health in Dodgeville. He was born on Aug. 21, 1935, in Sheboygan, a son of the late Reno F. and Audrey (Kolb) Widder.

Jim is survived by his wife, Joyce E Kieslich-Widder; his children, Brian Widder (Tom Gillen), Laura Widder and Lisa Paulson; his stepchildren, Marcia Kieslich (Dave Ramminger), Jan Kieslich-Janes (Terry Janes), Jill Kieslich, Mary Beth Burke (Jim Burke), Debora Kieslich and Anne Kieslich (Chris Frame); his grandchildren, Joe, Jade and Jasmine Paulson, Sarah, Sophie and Brenna Burke, Britta and Stina Rhude, Caleb and Jonah Shuda, Macie Janes, William Frame.

Funeral services for Jim Widder will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, at GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH in Dodgeville. The Rev. Mark Williamson will officiate. Military Rites will be accorded by the Dodgeville Area Veterans. Friends may call from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday and from 10 a.m. until time of services on Monday at GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to Upland Hills Hospice or a charity of your choice.

Martin, Ron

LODI - Ron Martin, 68, peacefully passed away on Sunday, August 20, 2017. He had been resting at his home he helped build, nestled in the Lodi Marsh, surrounded by his loving wife, Kathy, and two sons, Andy and Dan.

In addition to Kathy, Andy (Rachael Harley), and Dan (Rachael O'Flaherty), Ron left behind his mother, Lenore Martin; all ten siblings: Gene (Jip) Martin, Dave (Shuleen) Martin, Rose Martin, Paul (Anne) Martin, Therese (Mike) Thompson, Carol Martin, Sheila (Larry) Durbin, Tom (Diane) Martin, John (Terri) Martin, and Maria (Joe) Coel; his mother-in-law, Rosalie Kiehnau; six siblings-in-law: Keith (Karla) Kiehnau, Wayne Kiehnau, Debra (Mike) Rudzik, John (Linda) Kiehnau, Renee (Ron) Heimerl, and Linda Kiehnau (Larry Yavorsky); a clan of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews; and more wonderful friends than one could ever hope for. Ron was preceded in death by his father, Hiram Martin.

Ron, the oldest of a big, happy family of 11 children, was born in Marshfield.

After a brief time there and in Madison, the growing Martin family moved to a small farm in Loyal where Ron had ample space to run around and cause a bit of mischief. Ron was lucky enough to marry the love of his life in 1979. Together, Ron and Kathy raised their two sons in a loving and peaceful family, contributed to their community, and explored the world. After two years at UW-Stevens Point, Ron transferred to UW-Madison to complete his degree in Biology.

He dedicated his professional life to advocating for water quality at the WI Department of Natural Resources. He led the State's efforts in controlling the spread and ill effects of aquatic invasive species. Ron's passion for protecting the environment continued after his retirement from the State as he continued to work with Dane County and the Friends of the Lodi Scenic Valley to ensure water quality for his fellow citizens.

A true conservationist, Ron spent most of his waking hours enjoying the outdoors. His love of nature was infectious, as was his love overall. He passionately enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, picking berries, running, hiking, skiing, and many other outdoor activities. It was through these activities, that Ron cultivated some of his closest relationships. And we can't forget the card game, Sheepshead, that he so loved to play with family and friends.

Smart as a whip, Ron was rumored to be the best player around. Ron is one of those special people who left the world much better off. Through his meditation, spirituality, and loving relationships, he found a truly peaceful place in this world where he exhibited humility, respect, and a passion for adventure and life. He helped create sustainable peace in his family, his community, and his environment. He was an amazing man who will be dearly missed by many.

A Celebration of Ron's life will be held at HOLY WISDOM MONASTERY, 4200 Hwy M, Middleton at 11 AM on Saturday, August 26, 2017, where a luncheon will follow the service. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON LODI FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 157 S. Main Street, Lodi from 4 PM until 7 PM on Friday, August 25, 2017 and also on Saturday at HOLY WISDOM MONASTERY from 10 AM until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Lodi Area Community Endowment (LACE), P.O. Box 5010, Madison, Wis. 53705-0010. Online condolences may be made at  The purest form of honor you can bestow upon this amazing man, is to be kind to others and our environment, with responsible and sustainable enjoyment of this amazing world.

Holmes, John P.

John P. Holmes, age 77, passed away on June 3, 2017, at Divine Savior Healthcare ICU in Portage.

John was born on November 26, 1939, in Adams, Wisconsin, the son of Frank and Helen (Bischoff) Holmes. John proudly served his country in the U.S. Army following the Korean Conflict. He married Sharon Lee Rice on March 11, 1962. He worked for the Grant County Traffic Police, the Boscobel Police Department, and as a Conservation Warden from 1968 to 1988, when he retired.

He is survived by his children, Christine Stanko of Nekoosa, David (Tammy) Holmes of Pardeeville; brother, David (Gloria) Holmes of Platteville; grandchildren, Brock Holmes, Cale Holmes, Kyle (Caitlyn) Stanko, Ryne Stanko; and special friend, Pat Halasz of Portage. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Helen; and his wife, Sharon.

Memorial services will be held at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage at 7:00 p.m., on Thursday, June 8, 2017, with Jeff Nania officiating. Private inurnment will be in Boscobel at a later date. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Thursday, June 8, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. until the time of service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Portage Center for the Arts, 301 E Cook St, Portage, WI 53901 or the Aldo Leopold Foundation, E13701 Levee Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913.

The family would like to thank the staff at Divine Savior Healthcare for their care and support.

May 2017

Roy Pedretti retired in August of 2015 after 26 years of state employment. His first three years were at Employee Trust Funds and the remaining twenty three years at WDNR. At DNR, Roy worked in Human Resources starting as a Benefits Specialist. Through the years he promoted until he became Chief of the Payroll and Benefits section, serving in that position from 1989 - 2015. Roy's shop handled anything to do with employee benefits, insurance and taxes. Since retiring Roy enjoys, hunting, hiking and fishing. His wife and he have taken recent trips to Alaska and Hawaii.

April 2017

Martin Henert started with WDNR in 1976, and served in various positions in the Division Administrative Services (later, the Division of Management Services). In January of 2003, he was appointed to the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and served as Executive Assistant through both of Governor Doyle’s terms, retiring at the end of 2010. Marty and his wife Ellen enjoy traveling, watching Badger sports events, and going to Chicago Cub games.

April 2017

Kurt Welke retired on Friday, May 13, 2016 with over 30 years of service to the Fisheries program. He spent 12 years in Prairie du Chien, as a Fish Biologist managing the lower pools of the Mississippi River. In 2000, he transferred to Fitchburg where he managed the Madison Lakes and the fishery areas in the driftless parts of Green and Dane Counties until his retirement. He now spends many hours on his 94 acres farm in Crawford County restoring his native goat prairies.

March 2017

Scot Stewart, started his career with WDNR in 1982 as a fisheries biologist stationed in Baldwin. He transferred to Dane County as the Area Fish Manager. At the time of his retirement in September of 2015 his career had spanned 33 years. He retired as the Southern District Fisheries Supervisor for the counties in the old South Central and South East Regions.

WCOA letter to Joint Committee on Finance
regarding Self Insurance proposal.

This years lobby day is March 29th. Two main topics of discussion will revolve around lead in drinking water and the state park funding situation. Go the the League of Conservations Voters website to sign up or contact Tom Thoresen for more information on what the activities are all about.

February 2016

Maureen Connors, after working for 37 years with WDNR retired in June of 2015. She started her career working for Finance in the old Pyare building. She then moved into word processing working with I&E and Legal. Maureen's next move was into the Water Division, working in the Office of Great Lakes. As a Program Assistant she worked with grants and helped maintain the Great Lakes and Water Division websites.

February 2016

Dixie Maier, retired in January of 2017 after 36 1/2 years of service with WDNR. She started in June of 1980 as a word processing specialist and in 1988 moved into a program assistant opening in Finance. She transferred to Customer Service in May of 1996. After working in the Central Office for 30 years, in May of 2010 Dixie transferred to the South Central Region Headquarters located in Fitchburg where she remained until she retired this year.

Special February Southern ARC Meeting Announcement
When: Monday, February 27, 2017, 11:30am
Where: Lunch at the Olive Garden
Coconut Point
8091 Plaza del Lago Dr
Estero, FL 33928

Members planning to the attend the luncheon, please contact Esther or Jim Huntoon at 608-335-3193.

Zaug, Dale Allen

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.

Dale was born Jan. 3, 1941, on the family farm in the Town of Wyoming, Waupaca County, Wis., to Marshall and Evelyn (Block) Zaug and was the youngest of two children. Dale attended Big Falls grade school and graduated from Marion High School. After graduation he obtained an associate degree in Forestry from Fox Valley Technical College in Oshkosh. Dale married Lola Knaack on Sept. 8, 1962, and Dale then attended Michigan Technological University obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry.

Dale worked for the State of Wisconsin for 38 years, first as a forester then moving into technology as a systems analyst and data administrator. Dale and Lola lived in the Madison area for 35 years, raising their two children, Michael and Kristine in Waunakee, Wis. He retired to the Big Falls area in 2004 and started Zaug's Forest Enterprise.

Dale was active in many volunteer and environmental organizations including the National and Wisconsin Woodlands Owners Associations, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, The Big Falls Lions, St. Peter's and Mount Olive Lutheran Churches, Toastmasters, Local Planning Commissions and Boy Scouts of America. Dale enjoyed being outdoors, hiking, fishing and hunting, puzzles and cribbage, reading, playing cards, watching the Packers and Little Falls Baseball, playing with his grandsons and a good, strong cup of coffee. Dale traveled extensively with Lola and friends creating lasting memories visiting Alaska, Egypt, Germany/Austria/Switzerland, Korea, national forests and parks, and throughout the United States and Canada.

Dale is survived by his wife, Lola; his son, Michael (Kelly) of Forest Hills, N.Y.; and daughter, Kristine of Downers Grove, Ill.; sister, Sally Tschurwald; mother-in-law, Sadie Knaack; five grandsons, Quinton, Bronson, Cooper, Duncan and Colin; sisters-in-law, Anita (Ron) Kutella and Carolyn Knaack; as well as nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law, Wilbert Knaack; two brothers-in-law, Ron Tschurwald and Dennis Knaack; and nephew, Scott Tschurwald.

The family is grateful to his amazing surgeon, Dr. Azam Ahmed, his gifted neurooncologist, Dr. Ian Robins, the doctors, nurses and aides at the UW Hospital and Hospice through Theda At-Home Care; family, friends and Pastor Janice Kuder who called and visited, as well as those that were so helpful during Dale's treatment in Madison.

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.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Dale's name to UW Carbone Cancer Center, National Brain Tumor Society, or St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Marion.

January 2017

Joyce Kidd retired in 2006 after working her entire career in GEFF II. She worked in Tech Services and Finance dealing with data entry, JC coding and handled all the backup of digital information, at the time recorded on magnetic tape! Other than a three month period of building remodeling, Joyce spent her whole career on the first floor of GEF II. Joyce and her husband Gordon enjoy spending time on their 20 acre property located near Westfield with their five grown children

January 2017

Gordon Kidd spent his first 30 years with the State of Wisconsin at DOA working in printing and publications. in 1995, he transferred to WDNR and continued working with publications as well as fleet management. If you ever reserved a vehicle from the motor pool, you probably worked with Gordon. Gordon and his wife Joyce enjoy spending time on their 20 acre property located near Westfield with their five grown children

December 2016

Mary Jane Ziegler on July 8, 2016 retired from the Department after a 28 year career, 3 as an LTE and 11 in Customer Service and the remainder working in the Bureau of Technical services which became the Bureau of Information Services. In her IT position Mary Jane maintained the Recreational Databases’ including ATV's, snowmobiles and boats. She is active in volunteering for 'Meals on Wheels' and 'RSVP' a service providing trasportation to doctor appointments for the elderly. Mary Jane also likes to travel and scrapbook in her spare time.

December 2016

Tim Mulholland worked with the Department, out of GEFII, for 13 years from 1990 to his retirement in 2003. Tim started in the Hazardous Waste Section as an Engineer, serving as a Team Leader and working with permitting. He transfered to the Secretary's Office working on special projects including the Annual State of Natural Resources report. Since retirment, Tim has followed his passion of photography and backpacking, many times mixing the two.

December 2016

Tom Hauge retired October 17, 2016 after 37 years of service. He started his employment with DNR as an LTE working at the Poynette Game Farm, and after a variety of positions in Wildlife Management including biologist in Spring Green, a statewide Private Lands and Damage Specialist, and Section Chief, he ended his career as Director of the Bureau of Wildlife.

Jan 4, 2017
Laurel Steffes

Here's the information on the newly forming advocacy/speakers' bureau group that is forming among retirees to support DNR programs:

New organization forming Resource and Speakers Bureau in Support of DNR Program:

From Terry Daulton and Jeff Wilson

Hello folks,

Jeff Wilson and I are writing to share an idea we have been kicking around, to get feedback from friends and colleagues and to see if the concept merits further discussion.

In recent months and years, many of us who have spent out lives working in natural resources research, management, or policy have been dismayed (if not depressed) by threats to environment and the land ethic Aldo Leopold developed and nurtured in Wisconsin. I think that many of us have also felt a bit hopeless and powerless in the face of negative attitudes towards science, facts, and the relentless focus on short term economic policies which put the environment at risk. Whether premeditated or not, it is clear that there is a multi-faceted attack on the land ethic in Wisconsin and now perhaps nationally. Two weeks ago I received a copy of an article in "The Guardian" written by the fiction author, Barbara Kingsolver, that really got us fired up. It suggested that it is time for us to take off the kid gloves and use our expertise to defend our values, whether we are writers, artists, or scientists. I have attached the link for that article below here.

So, we have come up with an idea for an organization of natural resources professionals who want to provide good information to the public and media on natural resources policy. This group could be mostly retirees who can speak out without fear of backlash and who have a deep understanding of the history of resource management in the state. We are envisioning the goals of this group could be to draw on the expertise of members to write white papers as issues arise, and these papers could be used to create press releases, letters to the editor, and could be posted online on a blog perhaps. This could be a bit like a Union of Concerned Scientists, but with a Wisconsin natural resources focus. The group would have members from different specialties such as wildlife, watersheds, permitting, air quality, fisheries, forestry, parks, or research. In this way, each person would be free to work in their area of expertise when an issue arose, and the work load would not be too onerous for any one person. We tried to think about whether an existing organization is doing this kind of work. There are many great organizations in the state and region, but when we thought about it it seemed like most existing non-profits have missions that give them a focus on one field or the other, or perhaps do not have the breadth of technical expertise that this proposed group could provide. Also, a group of (mostly) retirees has extensive background in agency methods and planning and how policies actually play out on the landscape.

Jeff and I would like to offer to host a get together to discuss this idea and whether it is worth pursuing. We have come up with a couple of ideas for names for such a group.... drawing on the Leopold Legacy. One might be the "Green Fire Coalition" or another idea could be the "Land Ethic Coalition". But we could explore this idea too. I am attaching a doodle poll here to see how many of you might be interested in an initial conversation and what dates might be convenient. Please also share this with colleagues who you might think have an interest and ability to contribute. Http://

Second Email:

We have settled on Feb 25th for the meeting date. We have contacted Kemp Station, which for those of you who may not have been there, is located just outside Woodruff. I have tentatively reserved their new meeting room space and told them I thought we might need a few overnight rooms. Kemp has reasonable overnight housing for those who might want to stay over one night or make a weekend of the trip. In fact, if we do have several overnight folks, we get the meeting space for free! The fee for a night is $40 (unless you are university staff and get a discount). You can visit Kemp Station website for more information, The rooms have single beds, and there are kitchen facilities and bathrooms in the main lodge building. The station is set in a lovely stand of old hemlock forest on the shores of Tomahawk Lake, so a great location for us to ponder our purpose and goals.
Please let me know if you plan to come to the meeting and if you would want a room for overnight. It would be great if you could get back to me soon, so I can confirm numbers with Kemp. At the latest, please let me know by January 5.
Even if you can't make the meeting on the 25th, but have ideas you want to share, please send me the information. If you would like to be removed from this list please let me know.
Terry Daulton and Jeff Wilson

ORGANIZATIONAL DRAFT?GREEN FIRE (Name to be discussed and is tentative)

To date, most of the people who have been invited to participate in our new group are retired natural resource professionals from state or federal agencies or colleges/universities. There seems to be a consensus that we can contribute to maintaining the land ethic in Wisconsin, help protect the legacy of science based natural resources management in the state, and put our professional skills to work in a way that feels meaningful and impactful.
There are also concerns that we target our efforts carefully with a realistic understanding of the political times and the fact that we all have full and busy lives. With this in mind, we suggest preparing for our meeting with some ideas to work from.

Please send your responses to the following questions to help us make our time productive.
Possible roles for the organization have been suggested:
* drafting white papers and press releases on various topics to provide to interest groups, policy makers and the public
* investigating communications between politicians, agency staff and funders to identify problems
* lead an effort to bring together environmental and resource user organizations across the state in a focused campaign.
* Will our group be only responding to issues, or also taking a proactive approach with a positive message
1. What role (from the above list or other ideas) or roles would be the most important and effective for our group to take on as a main focus.
2. Should our focus be state-wide, or should we tackle national or local issues?
3. What natural resource issues/topics should we take on (list your top five)?
4. What kind of organizational structure should we consider? Are there models we could use?

Kroehn, Thomas A.

Thomas A Kroehn, aged 82, passed away on Dec. 7, 2016, peacefully in his sleep at his home at Waunakee Manor. He was born on July 16, 1934, to William and Anna (Radeztsky) Kroehn in Milwaukee, where he grew up and attended Custer High School, and where he met his best friend and future wife, Carol Herbst. Tom served in the U.S. Army from 1954-56, as a surveyor in the Artillery Guided Missile Unit, including time in Germany. Upon his honorable discharge, he and Carol were married, and they remained happily married until Carol's death in April of 2013.

Tom earned a degree in Civil Engineering from UW-Madison in 1959. He worked first for the City of Milwaukee, and in 1966 began his career with the State of Wisconsin. After 10 years in various programs protecting water quality, he was promoted to lead the state's Environmental Programs in Madison. Tom retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 1992.

Tom was a loving and fully devoted husband, father and friend. He cherished time with his family and friends, most of all adventuring with Carol during their retirement. Tom's passions included geology, hunting, trapshooting, woodworking, tennis, golf and garage sales. He approached his work, his hobbies and his life with a sense of wonder, dedication and passion. He was a member of Midvale Community Lutheran Church.

To his family, Tom was known as Big Guy, for his tall stature and inquisitive personality. He is survived by his loving children, Kathleen (David) Krause, Mary Ann (Brian) Buenzow and Jim (Dawn) Kroehn. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren, Rachel (Isaac), Ashley (Adam), Justin, Clara, Emma, Marie and Rory. He is further survived by his brother, Gerald Kroehn, and sister-in-law, Jane Gundlach. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Carol ("Brown-eyes"); brother-in-law, Ted Gundlach; and sister-in-law, Patricia Kroehn.