Welcome to Wisconsin's Green Fire: Voices for Conservation

Wisconsin’s Green Fire supports our conservation legacy by promoting science-based management of natural resources.

2022 marks WGF's five-year anniversary, five years of advancing science-informed analysis and policy solutions that address Wisconsin's greatest conservation challenges. As we face the next five years, we need your continued support to build a stronger conservation legacy for Wisconsin.

Will you support us today to continue our work to restore the balance we so badly need today in Wisconsin conservation?

“Wisconsin’s Green Fire members include dedicated natural resource professionals who continue their work as volunteers providing meaningful advice and expertise. Green Fire is one of our valued partners, and your work helps me as Secretary and my staff make better decisions and work more effectively with the programs and issues we are dealing with every day.”

-Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole 

Members of the Science Council at Rib Mountain State Park in June 2022.

recent events

November 15, 2022

WGF 2022 Annual Meeting

On November 15, 2022, Wisconsin’s Green Fire held our Annual Meeting and five-year anniversary celebration via Zoom! During the meeting, we shared updates on WGF’s work in the past year, reflected on conservation successes across Wisconsin, and shared plans for the year ahead. Some highlights include:

  • Two members of our Aspiring Conservation Professionals Work Group shared how WGF has helped them in their careers in conservation.
  • Five expert members shared recent conservation successes across Wisconsin, and updates on WGF work in PFAS, wolves, agriculture, energy policy, and public trust issues. View Adrian Wydeven's presentation slides here.
  • WGF's Executive Director Fred Clark and Legislative Liaison Paul Heinen shared updates on the implications of the most recent state election, and WGF’s recent Imbalance of Power Opportunities Now report.
View the recording here
November 10, 2022

WGF Climate Change Work Group Meeting

On November 10th, WGF's Climate Change Work Group Chair, Nancy Turyk, and WGF leaders led our quarterly work group meeting, discussing the following highlights: 

  • Reflections from the Climate Fast Forward Conference that recently took place in Madison.
  • Information about new climate change and energy policy-related initiatives and projects that WGF is pursuing with help from students.
  • Implications for action on renewable energy and climate change following the Nov. 8th midterm election from Paul Heinen, WGF’s Policy Liaison, and Scott Coenen, Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum Executive Director.
View the recording here
October 19, 2022

Imbalance of Power Webinar

On October 19th, Wisconsin's Green Fire hosted a webinar on our recent Opportunities Now report, Imbalance of Power: How Wisconsin is Failing Citizens in Conserving Natural Resources and Protecting our EnvironmentThe paper addresses the collective effects of state legislative actions, court rulings, and political practices that have undermined democratic processes and profoundly changed the way state government in Wisconsin operates.

The webinar featured six panelists who provided diverse perspectives on the effects of broken environmental rulemaking in Wisconsin. Panelists included: 

  • Fred Clark, WGF Executive Director
  • Paul Heinen, WGF Legislative Liaison
  • Lisa and Tor Anderson, Town of Nelsonville, WI
  • Meleesa Johnson, Director of Marathon County, WI Solid Waste Department
  • Mark Thimke, Environmental Lawyer (Ret.) and Co-chair of WGF Contaminants of Emerging Concern Work Group. 
View the recording here
Photo credit: Don Behm
May 12, 2022

Wisconsin's Clean Energy Plan - Opportunities for Wisconsin's Green Fire Impact Webinar

On May 12, 2022, Wisconsin's Green Fire hosted a webinar with WGF Energy Work Group member Keith Reopelle, moderated by Energy Work Group co-chair Gary Radloff. In this 75-minute webinar, Keith discussed Wisconsin's first clean energy plan (CEP). The CEP, released on April 20, 2022, puts Wisconsin on the path to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. The plan prioritizes the core values of justice, equity, and collective action, and emphasizes four key pathways for creating momentum towards achieving a clean energy economy: accelerate clean energy technology deployment, maximize energy efficiency, modernize buildings and industry, and innovate transportation.

Keith also serves as the Advanced Program and Policy Analyst with the Wisconsin Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy (OSCE), and was one of the lead authors of the CEP. The webinar included Keith's presentation on strategies presented in the CEP, and an engaging discussion with webinar attendees about how WGF can best support these strategies through its own work.

View the recording here
New Head Shot - 2020
January 27, 2022

Confessions of a Recovering Bureaucrat: A WGF Conversation with Todd Ambs

There are few people in the history of Wisconsin conservationists who've served in as many roles as effectively as Todd Ambs. Todd retired in December as the Deputy Secretary of Wisconsin DNR, capping an over 40-year career in and around the waters of the Great Lakes and beyond. In his latest role serving in the Evers administration, Todd led one of Wisconsin's largest state agencies. He navigated controversial issues such as wolf hunting and PFAS contamination, as well as intensely partisan events around conservation governance, with the last two years of that time during the midst of a global pandemic.

In this free-wheeling conversation with WGF Executive Director Fred Clark, Todd shares his reflections on his career in conservation in Wisconsin and beyond, and his hopes for the future of conservation governance in Wisconsin. 

View the recording here

recent work

Monroe County Climate Readiness and Rural Economic Opportunity Assessment

Wisconsin’s Green Fire and partners launched the Monroe County Climate Readiness and Rural Economic Opportunity Assessment (CRREOA) in Monroe County, Wisconsin in May, 2021 and completed the current project in February 2022.

Read the full report >

2021 Annual Report

Wisconsin's Green Fire recently released it's first Annual Report, documenting accomplishments in 2021 and recognizing donors who provided financial support in 2021.

Read the report >

Opportunities Now Reports

Wisconsin's Green Fire has released four Opportunities Now reports in 2021, each outlining policy recommendations on various natural resource topics across Wisconsin.

View the reports >

Guides to Oil Pipeline Regulation in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Green Fire has partnered with Midwest Environmental Advocates to develop a series of guides to oil pipeline regulation in Wisconsin.

Link to the Guides >

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