A year ago, on Earth Day 2017, we announced ourselves as a new organization – Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voice’s for Conservation. A group of mostly retired natural resources professionals and supporters, we are passionate about the conservation legacy of Wisconsin and want to help carry it into the future. Many fine conservation organizations in the state advocate for the environment. Why are we needed?
The idea of a group of retirees serving as a source of in-depth information isn’t new. But it took a personal passion to get it started. Terry Daulton, now WGF President, is the kind of person who brings beautiful ideas to life. In early 2017 she contacted her friends and colleagues with the idea that sparked Green Fire.
The idea took off. Many of our members are retired science professionals. We are mostly retired natural resources professionals, educators, and researchers, but we feel strongly that our public service is not over. We are invested in the notion of bringing science and our knowledge and experience to bear on conservation issues in Wisconsin.
In our first year, our membership has grown to nearly 450 around the state. Our strength is in the work of our members. In our first year, our volunteer members have analyzed Wisconsin legislation on the management of wolves and wetlands and testified at legislative hearings. Our members have helped local governments by reviewing proposed mining ordinances. We are working on analyses of environmental impacts of high capacity wells, climate change issues, and nutrient management. We provide information to the news media and citizens. We strive to serve as a respected and credible source of information. And we are just getting started.
What inspires us? Of course, love for the natural world drew us into our careers in the first place. We are inspired by great conservation leaders like Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and Gaylord Nelson. We want to help dedicated citizens who are working for the intertwined health of our environment and economy. We work for the future of our youth.
Tia Nelson, climate change activist and daughter of Gaylord Nelson, former Wisconsin Governor, Senator, and founder of Earth Day, spoke at our first annual membership meeting in September 2017. She told us to never, ever give up. We won’t.
Post contributed by Nancy Larson.