Upcoming Events

WGF at Big Top Chautauqua - July 26, 2024

This will be our big Northwoods event in 2024.

Join us for an evening full of great food, friends, music, and learning, all under the Big Top tent on the shores of the big lake! Whether you are already a supporter (thank you!) or you are new to Wisconsin's Green Fire, we welcome you to come to this special event!

If you are new to Big Top Chautauqua, you are in for a Northwoods treat. For more information on what to expect at the venue, visit

Please register by July 10th.

Location: 32525 Ski Hill Road, Bayfield WI 54814.

Our evening at Big Top has three special parts.

  1. A private social with a taco bar dinner by Fat Radish, a local farm to table caterer. The meal includes all your favorite taco fixings with chicken and freshly caught and grilled fish. Drinks include a generous donation of beer from South Shore Brewery! Dinner is $30 per person.
  2. A public educational presentation on "Natural Climate Solutions" by WGF's Fred Clark. We'll also hear from Friends of the Apostle Islands.
  3. A headline musical performance "Song for the Wild," featuring members of Big Top Chautauqua's Blue Canvas Orchestra with Warren Nelson. We have a special 20% discount ticket rate of $27 per person.

The evening will conclude with a starlight walk to the shores of Gichigami (Lake Superior).

Thank you to South Shore Brewery!

We're grateful to South Shore Brewery of Chequamegon Bay, WI for donating the drinks for our social hour and dinner in the Party Tent!


Bonus raffle opportunity!

Interested in coming a day early?  WGF is raffling two tickets to the Thursday July 25 7:30 performance of JJ Grey & Mofro at Big Top. Included is a $20 gift card for the Fat Radish restaurant in Washburn. Just include an additional donation of $50 or more to enter. The winner will be notified on July 10. Enter the raffle via the event registration form.

A Note on Lodging:

  • Lodging in Bayfield books up quickly. We suggest using links from Bayfield County and Big Top to book your lodgings.
  • We have a block of rooms set aside at Bad River Lodge and Casino. Reserve your rooms under "WI Green Fire" to use our discounted rate of $79.95/night for a queen room. Book by July 19 to claim this group rate.

Contact us with any questions.

Please email or call Nancy Larson at or 715-413-0306 for help registering for this event.

Add the event to your calendar by clicking here.

WGF Board Meetings

The Wisconsin's Green Fire Board of Directors meets bimonthly from 4:00-6:00pm CT on first Tuesdays, except when that date conflicts with elections.

  • Feb 6, 2024 (virtual)
  • Apr 9, 2024 (virtual)
  • Jun 4, 2024 (in-person)
  • Aug 6, 2024 (virtual)
  • Oct 1, 2024 (virtual)
  • Dec 3, 2024 (hybrid)

All meetings are held virtually via Zoom, with in-person options in June and December. Register here. (Note: the meeting link applies for all dates.)

DEIJ Community of Practice for Wisconsin's Conservation Community

Diversity, equity, inclusion and justice are critical for successful conservation work. Wisconsin's Green Fire has been a Participating Organization and co-sponsor since this DEIJ Community of Practice began in 2021.

Bimonthly meetings are first Wednesdays 12:00-1:30pm CT: Feb 7, Apr 3, Jun 5, Aug 7, Oct 2, Dec 4. Learn more and register here. 

Join us at these meetings and conferences in 2024!

Check back for more updates throughout 2024!

Previous Programs

2nd Annual WI Conservation Retreat: Bringing Students and Professionals Together

students in winter gear in a group in front of snowy trees

Wed. January 3rd - Fri. January 5th, 2024

5400 North Black Oak Lake Road, Land O Lakes, WI 54540

WGF's Aspiring Conservation Professionals Work Group is hosting this retreat in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Student Environmental Action Coalition! This gathering is tailored for students in Wisconsin who are passionate about engaging in professional conversations surrounding conservation initiatives and gaining insights into environmental education and communication strategies.

The event will feature a dedicated networking session for professionals, along with a chance to earn certification in environmental education interpretation techniques from the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE). Attendees can participate in discussions on climate change resiliency, nature interpretation, and identification adventures. Depending on the weather, activities such as snowshoeing (rentals available) and cross-country skiing (bring your own) may be included. Here is a slideshow with more details.

Bring your own sleeping bag, pillow and towel.

$100 for 2 nights of lodging and meals, $75 for 1 night of lodging and meals (donations are welcome).

Deadline to sign up: Dec 20th, 2023. Register here.

6th Annual Meeting - Wisconsin's Green Fire 2023

a laptop displaying a gallery of attendees to the WGF 2023 annual meeting

Wed. December 27th, 4:00-6:00pm CT

Virtual meeting via Zoom: Watch the recording here.

Three of the main topics during the meeting included:

  1. Updates from Executive Director Meleesa Johnson on recent and upcoming Work Group activities.
  2. Discussion of the newly approved 2023 Wolf Management Plan, our recent Opportunities Now paper on PFAS, and the effects of wake boats on lake ecosystem health.
  3. We conducted some important business on our by-laws and articles of incorporation.

More information and agenda here.

GivingTuesday - Nov. 28th, 2023

WGF ED Meleesa Johnson and grandson Coltin bundled up for a night hike in fall 2023, text and graphics for #givingtuesday and qr code
Please support WGF this month by contributing to our GivingTuesday campaign! GivingTuesday is a global day of giving where people all over the world come together to support their favorite nonprofits.

Follow along with us on Facebook on November 28th as we celebrate raising these funds and give our thanks to our supporters!

Our goal is to raise $10,000 by November 28th to help support our mission and programs like WGF's Conservation Pathways Program, but we’ll only reach that goal through the kindness and generosity of people like you. Will you help?

Donate for GivingTuesday here.

Delta Beer Lab - Nonprofit Partner Events - Fall 2023

Delta Beer Lab event info, logos, graphical map

Join us for a series of events at the Delta Beer Lab in Madison in support of Wisconsin's Green Fire! Throughout the month of September, the Delta Beer Lab is teaming up with Wisconsin's Green Fire as a Nonprofit Partner.

This month-long partnership is an opportunity to highlight WGF, share our good work, AND all "tips" collected throughout the month will be directly donated to support Wisconsin’s Green Fire and our conservation priorities!

This is a fantastic opportunity to come together, enjoy craft beer, and support a cause we care about-Wisconsin’s conservation legacy.

Location: 167 E. Badger Rd, Madison, WI 53713

Sep. 6th, 4:30-6:30pm: Delta Beer Lab Nonprofit Partnership Kick-Off Celebration (Madison’s Conservation Social)

Let's kick off the month with a Conservation Social celebration when Wisconsin's Green Fire is recognized as Delta Beer Lab’s nonprofit partner for all of September. Join us at Delta Beer Lab to raise a glass and raise awareness of conservation efforts in Wisconsin! Mingle with fellow conservation enthusiasts and show your support for Wisconsin’s Green Fire. Register here.

Sep. 13th, 7:00-9:00pm: Delta Beer Lab’s Trivia Night

Test your conservation knowledge and have a blast at Delta Beer Lab’s Trivia Night! Gather your friends, form a team, and prepare to be challenged. Delta Beer Lab gift certificates will be given out for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and as always bragging rights for the trivia champions. Join us for an evening of friendly competition while supporting Wisconsin’s Green Fire. For more information, ask questions in the taproom or visit:

Sep. 22nd, 5:00-7:00pm: Live Music, LT's Aloha Wagon Food Truck, & WGF Guest Beer-tenders!

Experience something unique as volunteers become guest beer-tenders. They'll be pouring your favorite brews with a smile, all for a great cause-voices for conservation! Swing by, enjoy great beers, delicious food, live music, and show your appreciation for our dedicated volunteers.

Sep. 28th, 6:00-7:30pm: Crafting Conversation—Panel Discussion on PFAS in Drinking Water

Join us for an informative panel discussion on PFAS in Madison's Drinking Water. Learn from experts as they share insights, discuss the impact of PFAS, and explore potential solutions. Let's come together to address this critical issue and protect our water resources. Register here.

Oct. 4th, 4:30-6:00pm: Presentation of Check to Wisconsin's Green Fire—Final Delta Event

For this final event Wisconsin's Green Fire will be proudly presented with a check representing the collective support and generosity of the amazing folks at Delta Beer Lab. Join us as we give thanks to everyone at Delta Beer Lab who understand the impact that can be made when we stand together.

Conservation Socials - Fall 2023

Graphic map of Wisconsin with 7 conservation socials locations, WGF logo, and autumn leaves

We're thrilled to announce the return of our fall 2023 Conservation Socials! These casual, engaging gatherings will be held throughout September and October across Wisconsin, bringing together WGF members and conservation enthusiasts all over the state.

Come connect and socialize while enjoying local drinks and food, all in the name of preserving Wisconsin's natural resources. During each social, you'll have the opportunity to learn about WGF's impactful work and discover how you can get involved. Students and early-career professionals are welcome, as is anyone who cares about conservation!

This year, we'll celebrate in Madison, Washburn, Eau Claire, Athens, Manitowish Waters, Milwaukee, and Appleton! Please share widely—invite your friends and neighbors! Click below to register by location. Read on for specific details.

Madison Conservation Social 2023 map and event logistics


Delta Beer Lab, Nonprofit Partner Kick-Off Event

Date: September 6th | Time: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm  

Location: Delta Beer Lab, 167 E Badger Rd, Madison, WI 53713  


Join us for the exciting kick-off of the Wisconsin's Green Fire 2023 Conservation Socials at Madison’s Delta Beer Lab on September 6th! Through the month of September, DBL will host a series of events aimed at supporting Wisconsin’s Green Fire as their Nonprofit Partner (see DBL events below). Learn more about DBL. 

Washburn Conservation Social map and logistics


Apple Cider Pressing & Pulled Pork Feast 

Date: September 30th | Time: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm 

Location: Ruth Oppedahl Homestead (Register for address)


(Limited to 30 Attendees!) Join us at Ruth Oppedahl’s Homestead for an apple cider pressing and pulled pork sliders! Explore the beautiful combination of hayfields and wooded ravines, home to bobolinks, bobcats, and bears. Don't forget to bring a bag of apples to toss in the mix and your own jar or jug to take some delicious apple cider home! 

Eau Claire


Gathering at The Brewing Projekt

Date: October 11th | Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: The Brewing Projekt, Lower level, 1807 N Oxford Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54703


Calling all beer enthusiasts! Join us at The Brewing Projekt's Taproom for an evening of fresh, interesting, and innovative beers. Experience their "stubbornly crafted beer" while connecting with fellow conservation enthusiasts in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.



Pizza on the Farm @ Stoney Acres Farm

Date: October 12th | Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: Stoney Acres Farm, 245728 Baldwin Creek Road, Athens, WI, 54411


Join us at Stoney Acres Farm for "Pizza on the Farm"! Delight in the flavors of farm-fresh pizzas while experiencing the beauty of this family farm. Learn about their commitment to environmental sustainability and a socially just world as you connect with like-minded individuals.

Manitowish Waters


Gathering at North Lakeland Discovery Center

Date: October 18th | Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: North Lakeland Discovery Center, 14006 Discovery Ln, Manitowish Waters, WI 54545


Immerse yourself in nature and community at the North Lakeland Discovery Center. Join us for a fun filled evening connecting with people and the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin. Together, let's foster an ethic of care for our natural world.



Hike and Celebrate at Urban Ecology Center-Riverside Location

Date: October 23rd | Time: 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: Urban Ecology Center, Riverside Park, 1500 E. Park Pl, Milwaukee, WI 53211


Nature meets the city at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee. Join us for an evening of environmental curiosity and connection. Arrive at 4:00 to explore the two-mile loop of trails meandering through open prairie and wooded riverfront at the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, then meet other guests for refreshments and great conversations at the Urban Ecology Center’s Riverside Park “green building” 5:00-7:00 pm.



Gathering at Bubolz Nature Preserve

Date: October 25th | Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: Bubolz Nature Preserve, 4815 N Lynndale Drive, Appleton, WI 54913


Escape to nature at the Bubolz Nature Preserve in Appleton! Connect with the conservation community that fosters a healthy environment and an improved quality of life.

Group photo of about 50 adults from the conservation social event in Appleton, outdoors on paved area near trees and a silo
WGF Conservation Social attendees in Appleton, 2022

We are excited to see you at the Fall Conservation Socials in 2023!

Thank you for registering for our events.

Contact us with any questions.

Aspiring Conservation Professionals Social

ACP Social Flyer 5-25-23

When: Thursday, May 25th 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Where: University of Wisconsin Madison Memorial Union Terrace, 800 Langdon St. Madison, WI 53706

What: Join WGF's Aspiring Conservation Professionals Work Group for a casual early summer evening on the Terrace! We plan to meet outside weather allowing, look for Wisconsin's Green Fire signage. This event is open to anyone interested in learning more about Wisconsin's Green Fire, the ACP Work Group, or just wanting to hang out with fellow students and aspiring professionals. Questions? Email Jenny Washam at!

We hope to see you there!

When: Friday, May 26th; 8:00am - 1:30pm

Where: Virtual or Kemp Natural Resources Station (Woodruff, WI)

What: Join the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters and Wisconsin's Green Fire for the second talk in the Wisconsin Climate Stories series! This event will feature three storytellers with deep connections to Wisconsin's forests, and their personal stories of how climate change has affected their work and personal lives.

The second part of the event will feature a discussion led by Wisconsin's Green Fire on forming a Wisconsin Natural Climate Solutions task force.

Speakers will include:

  • Joe Hovel: Joe Hovel has practiced land conservation for decades, and as head of Partners in Forestry Cooperative he has been a tireless advocate for others, leading by example.
  • Dwayne Sperber: Dwayne Sperber is a champion of the environment and has dedicated himself to advancing the urban wood industry across the United States. His mission is to support and protect the urban forests by promoting the use of socially responsible and sustainably supplied urban wood.
  • April Stone-Dahl: April Stone-Dahl is an Ojibwe Black Ash basket maker from the Bad River reservation in northern Wisconsin. She has been harvesting basket material from the swamps where the tree lives and making utilitarian baskets since 1999.

On Tuesday, May 2nd over 100 local government leaders attended the PFAS in Wisconsin: Policy and Practice for Local Government Leaders conference hosted by Wisconsin’s Green Fire in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension, the Wisconsin Towns Association, the Wisconsin Counties Solid Waste Management Association, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Wisconsin Counties Association. The collaborative workshop prepared local leaders to understand, respond, and act to protect their communities from the risks of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFAS, or the “forever chemicals.”

View the presentations and more information here.

Wisconsin’s Green Fire 2022 Field Forums

This summer, Wisconsin's Green Fire hosted a series of our field forums across the state, featuring WGF member experts, together with partners, policy makers, and local stakeholders in the field. These forums provided a space for sharing ideas, learning from others, and exploring far-reaching solutions to priority conservation issues.   

WGF Group at CWES May 2019
Conservation Webinar Logo

Stay Connected   Get Outside While You're Inside    Dive Deep on Issues 


January 10, 2023

Imbalance of Power League of Women Voters Webinar

On January 10th, 18 Wisconsin League of Women Voters chapters hosted a webinar that focused on WGF's recent report, Imbalance of Power: How Wisconsin is Failing Citizens in Conserving Natural Resources and Protecting our Environment. The program highlighted the shift of power that has occurred over the last 10 years between state’s three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—established in the constitution as co-equal branches. The panelists used examples to illustrate the impacts of the shift, and outline specific actions and policy changes to help bring back the balance of power in Wisconsin.

Panelists included:

  • Fred Clark: WGF Executive Director
  • Paul Heinen: WGF Legislative Liaison
  • Mark Thimke: Environmental Attorney

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. Click here to view Adrian Wydeven's slides.
  • 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.

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.

November 9, 2022

Wisconsin Chapter of The Wildlife Society Brown Bag Webinar: WGF - Partnership Opportunities in Wildlife

WGF's Wildlife Work Group co-chair Tom Hauge, Legislative Liaison Paul Heinen, and Communications and Outreach Coordinator Jenny Washam joined the Wisconsin Chapter of the Wildlife Society for a lunchtime webinar on November 9th. They shared the mission of WGF, opportunities for partnerships with The Wisconsin Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and work for next-generation conservation leaders. Paul Heinen also shared comments on the legislative outreach done by WGF and impacts of the 2022 elections.


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. 
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.

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. 

MKE lakeshore

January 19, 2022

Public Rights in Milwaukee's Fresh Coast

Wisconsin’s Green Fire co-sponsored a webinar on January 19th with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Water Policy and the State Bar of Wisconsin, featuring six expert panelists who offered diverse perspectives on the public trust doctrine and how it influences Milwaukee’s Fresh Coast. Often overlooked, much of the city’s coastline and riverfronts are not original — they’re built on lakebed or riverbed that has been filled to create new land, meaning they are governed under the public trust doctrine.

The six panelists addressed questions about the implications of the public trust doctrine on public rights, land development, funding, policy, and governance affecting Milwaukee's iconic waterfront. 

Panelists included Michael Cain, WGF Board Member and Public Trust and Wetland Work Group Co-Chair, along with:

  • John Gurda, Writer and Historian, author of “Milwaukee: A City Built on Water”
  • Brenda Coley, Co-Executive Director, Milwaukee Water Commons
  • Michael Kowalkowski, Attorney, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Toni Herkert, Government Affairs Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  • Sarah Martinez, Water Policy Specialist, Center for Water Policy

Click here to view the slides from Michael's presentation, and here to view supplemental materials for his presentation.  

Deer2 credit Jerry Davis

November 17th, 2021

Meeting Wisconsin's Deer Conservation Challenges

Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF) and the Wisconsin Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) hosted a panel discussion on opportunities for Wisconsin to improve the management and conservation of its iconic white-tailed deer herd. Leaders from BHA and member experts from WGF discussed the stressors and intermingling factors threatening the deer herd and present a vision for better long-term management. Topics discussed included deer management in Wisconsin, how deer browsing can harm forests, farms, and alter ecosystems, what we can do to slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), and opportunities for Wisconsin to manage deer through responsible hunting. 

Panelists included:

  • Keith McCaffery, State Deer Research Biologist (Retired), WGF Opportunities Now author 
  • Don Waller, Conservation Biologist, WGF Opportunities Now author 
  • Mike SamuelWildlife Disease Ecologist, WGF Opportunities Now author
  • Noah Wishau, Wisconsin State Co-Chair, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA)

On June 29, 2021, Wisconsin’s Green Fire released the report: Opportunities Now 2021-2023: Meeting Wisconsin’s Deer Conservation Challenges.  



September 23rd, 2021

Wisconsin Conservation: Today's Challenges and Tomorrow's Leaders

Christine Thomas, Keynote Speaker

Our WGF 2021 Annual Meeting focused on the state of our conservation tradition, with a special focus on the students and young professionals joining today’s conservation movement. Our keynote speaker Christine Thomas shared her long experience as Dean of the College of Natural Resources at UW-Stevens Point and her tenure on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board. We heard from the leaders of our recently formed Student and Young Professionals group. And we offered breakout sessions to hear from our member experts on issues ranging from climate change and clean energy to the future of our deer and wolf populations.  We also shared results from our recent WGF member’s survey. You can watch Christine's keynote address and the inspirational closing by our students and young professionals at the links below!

August Ball headshot

Centering Equity in Conservation Workshop Series

Understanding Racial Equity and Inclusion in Conservation 101
September 16, 2020, 4-6:30 p.m.

Compounded disparities impact communities of color in every corner of society, be it socio-economic, political, educational, health, etc. This workshop will provide the history of the construction of race, a key component in driving these inequities. The goal of this workshop is to help participants understand why these inequities exist, so we can do something about them.

Foundations of Internalized Racism
November 11, 2020, 4-6 p.m. 

This session will help participants understand why power dynamics exist amongst racial identities. As a follow up to the historical context set in Racial Equity 101, this session will guide participants in assessing the impact of race on individual socialization and exam our role and agency. This session will help participants create change, building a learning community grounded in vulnerability and trust that allows the collective to reflect, strategize and change. 

Decentering White Dominant Culture
January 13, 2021, 4-6 p.m.

In this workshop, we will practice identifying the various attributes of white dominant culture in both the working environment and in personal behaviors. Participants will leave with an understanding of how white dominant culture harms us as individuals and harms our colleagues; and an ability to envision alternative cultures.

  • Understand the definition and components of White Dominant Culture
  • Recognize and evaluate harm done to self and others
  • Examine characteristics of white fragility and racial battle fatigue
  • Articulate alternative practices/cultures that mitigate trauma and foster a thriving environment
DEI Sponsors

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, Gathering Waters, and Wisconsin’s Green Fire are partnering to offer a diversity, equity and inclusion workshop series for our staff, board, members, and partners.

Creating a 21st Century Energy Policy in Wisconsin March 31 2021

March 31st, 2021

The Future is Now: Creating a 21st Century Energy Policy in Wisconsin

Join Wisconsin’s Green Fire for a 90-minute panel discussion on opportunities for Wisconsin to chart a path towards an energy system that is cleaner, more reliable, more equitable, and increasingly decentralized. WGF welcomes energy experts from RENEW Wisconsin and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) to discuss the future of clean, renewable energy in Wisconsin and policy opportunities that exist to enact change. Learn how energy consumers can benefit from new policies and investments, how third-party financing can help propel local renewable energy generation, and get a glimpse of Wisconsin’s new State Energy Plan 

Bring your questions for a lively Q&A session with our panelists:  

  • Heather Allen, Executive Director, RENEW Wisconsin 
  • Nick Hylla, Executive Director, Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) 
  • Keith Reopelle, Clean Energy Consultant and Member of Wisconsin’s Green Fire

When: Wednesday, March 31st, from 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Where: Online

On March 3rd, 2021, Wisconsin’s Green Fire released the report: Opportunities Now 2021-2023: The Future is Now – Creating a 21st Century Energy Policy  

Feburary 25th, 2021

PFAS: Past, Present, and Future – Forever Chemicals in Wisconsin

Join co-hosts Wisconsin’s Green Fire and Clean Wisconsin along with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources leaders on Thursday, February 25, at 11 am for a 90-minute webinar on PFAS: Past, Present, and Future – Forever Chemicals in Wisconsin.  Learn all about PFAS in Wisconsin including the history, fate, and transport of these chemicals; the latest proposals in the Governor’s 2021 State Budget and action items outlined in the Wisconsin PFAS Action Plan; and key policy recommendations and opportunities for the near and long term. Bring your questions for a lively Q&A session with our panelists.

For additional reading and information on PFAS in Wisconsin, please check out:

PFAS: Forever Chemicals in Wisconsin — Wisconsin’s Green Fire Opportunities Now 2021-2023 Report on PFAS

Clean Wisconsin’s Video: A Crisis of Contamination

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources PFAS webpage and Wisconsin PFAS Action Plan

Panelists: John Robinson, Wisconsin’s Green Fire
Darsi Foss and Mimi Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Carly Michiels, Clean Wisconsin
When: Thursday, February 25th, from 11:00am-12:30pm
Where: Online

Collin Omara Headshot

Feburary 10th, 2021

Conservation Policy in the Biden Administration

President Joe Biden and his team are moving quickly to implement an historic conservation agenda with a strong focus on climate change, environmental justice,  and land conservation. Collin O'Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, will join us for this special program to outline the Biden/Harris administration's agenda, with a particular focus on what it means for Wisconsin and our region. Wisconsin conservationist Kathleen Falk will moderate our 90-minute conversation and field questions from participants.

In his role with National Wildlife Federation, Mr. O'Mara leads a coalition of conservation organizations engaged with the Biden/Harris transition and the new administration. He'll speak about the agenda for climate, land and water conservation, environmental justice, and the outlook for environmental programs in the new administration.

Collin O’Mara serves as President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest wildlife conservation organization with 53 state and territorial affiliates and nearly six million hunters, anglers, birders, gardeners, hikers, paddlers, and wildlife enthusiasts.

This program is co-hosted by Wisconsin's Green Fire and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, an NWF Affiliate. Audience size will be limited, and registration will close prior to the event, so be sure to register in advance.

Speaker:  Collin O'Mara, President and CEO National Wildlife Federation
When: Wednesday, February 10th, 1:00pm- 2:30pm
Where: Online

August 26, 2020

Opportunities for Collaboration: A Shared Vision for Wolves in Wisconsin

The Western Great Lakes states could soon see the federal de-listing of gray wolves which have made a historic comeback in Wisconsin since they were eradicated in the mid-1900sCurrent state legislation mandates a wolf hunt when the species is not listed under the Endangered Species Act and limits DNR, Tribes and the public from having input on when, where, how and if such harvests should occur. The most recently approved state wolf management plan from 1999 needs to be updated to include the latest ecological and social science in wolf conservation.  

This program featured a trio of expert panelists envisioning a future for wolves in Wisconsin. We covered the history of wolves and wolf management in Wisconsin, why ainclusive and transparent process is essential to effective wolf management, what public perceptions of wolves can tell us about coexistence, and how our neighbor, Minnesota, is managing its resident wolf population. 

Panelists: Adrian Wydeven, WGF Wildlife Co-Chair; Jodi Habush Sinykin, Midwest Environmental Advocates; Peter David, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission  
When: Wednesday, August 26, 11:00am to 12:30pm
How: Program is closed and a recording is available. 

May 21, 2020

WGF Policy Forum: The Future Is Now! Moving Wisconsin into a 21st Century Energy System

Join us to learn how Wisconsin can modernize our energy system and re-imagine our energy future. New technologies are creating benefits for large and small scale energy users alike. Modernizing Wisconsin’s electrical grid will reduce energy waste, increase energy efficiency, and reduce our vulnerability to energy disruptions.

Wisconsin's Green Fire members Gary Radloff and Kerry Beheler will interview a panel of energy experts who will discuss the business case for renewable energy, the creation and benefits of local Energy Districts, and the politics of energy in Wisconsin. We'll showcase examples of successful policy in neighboring states.

Learn how you, as an energy consumer, can get involved and help shift Wisconsin energy into the 21st Century.

Panelists:  Scott Coenen, Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum; Camille Kadoch, Regulatory Assistance Project; and Richard Cates, Iowa County Energy District.
When: Thursday May 21st, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
How: Space is Limited and Registration is Required.

April 30th, 2020

WGF Virtual Field Trip - Our Living Ancestors: The History and Ecology of Old Growth Forests in Wisconsin, with John Bates

Old-growth forests touch the souls of many people, but despite their remarkable emotional appeal and scientific value, very little true old-growth remains in Wisconsin. Naturalist John Bates walks through forests with us to ask why we cut nearly all of our old growth forests; why should we care about them; how much we have left; and where are the last remaining remnants. Join us for a spectacular afternoon among our living ancestors.
What: Our Living Ancestors: The History and Ecology of Old Growth Forests in Wisconsin
Who: John Bates
When: Thursday April 30th, 4:30 - 6:00 PM

April 23rd, 2020

WGF Policy Forum - Coming Down the Pipe: Oil Pipeline Regulations in Wisconsin

Oil pipelines in Wisconsin are subject to complex state and federal regulations. Attorney Rob Lee with Midwest Environmental Advocates and Nancy Larson and Tom Jerow of Wisconsin's Green Fire will review the different agencies with authority over pipeline construction and operation, and we will walk through different opportunities for members of the public to have their voices heard.  
What: Oil Pipeline Regulation in Wisconsin
Who: Rob Lee (MEA), Nancy Larson and Tom Jerow (WGF)
When: Thursday April 23rd, 4:30 - 6:00 PM
Robert Rolley and Karen Mesmer 2.jpeg

April 16th, 2020

WGF Virtual Field Trip - Voyage to the Bottom of the World: Penguins, Whales, and Ice

Join WGF members and career biologists Karen Mesmer and Robert Rolley on their recent adventure to the Falklands, South Georgia Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula as they kayak among whales, icebergs, and more penguins than Karen could count.
What: Voyage to the Bottom of the World: Penguins, Whales, and Ice
Who: Robert Rolley and Karen Mesmer
When: Thursday April 16th, 4:30 - 6:00 PM

April 9th, 2020

WGF Policy Forum - Science, Conservation, and the Coronavirus

Wisconsin conservation leaders will reflect on the lessons policy makers and the public can draw from current events. How could the social, political, and economic changes caused by a global pandemic affect our efforts to address climate change, clean water, and other conservation priorities?
Our panel includes Jennifer Giegerich (Wisconsin Conservation Voters), Jonathan Gilbert (Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission), Bob Martini (Wisconsin's Green Fire), George Meyer (Wisconsin Wildlife Federation), and Dr. Tim Van Deelen (University of Wisconsin - Madison).
Join us as we look ahead to new challenges and transformative possibilities in uncertain times.
What: Science, Conservation and the Coronavirus
Who: Jennifer Giegerich, Jonathan Gilbert, George Meyer, Bob Martini, Dr. Tim Van Deelen
When: Thursday April 9th, 4:30 - 6:00 PM

Past Events: 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting Mutiple dates in September


There is no charge for these programs, but we ask you to consider a special donation to help cover costs of bringing these programs to you.

2020 Annual Meeting

Age, Race, Politics, and ConservationAddressing the Elephants in the Room

Webinars September 9, 16, 23, 25, 26

As much as we enjoy getting together for our fall annual meeting, this year we are following a virtual format to keep everyone safe. Our annual meeting events are available to everyone. Join us for a bang up series of webinars by Zoom throughout September, exploring pressing issues for the conservation community and opportunities for Wisconsin’s Green Fire. On three Wednesday evenings (Sept 9, 16, 23) we will explore issues of race, equity, the concerns and interests of students, and hear from political leaders on what we can expect in 2021 and beyond. Spend a fascinating evening with our annual meeting keynote speaker, former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, on Friday Sept. 25. Then join us for our virtual annual meeting on Saturday morning, Sept. 26 to hear the latest on WGF work and contribute your insights and ideas in our virtual break out groups.

Past Events: 2019 Annual Meeting October 4th & 5th

Working Together, Working Better, Wisconsin’s Green Fire 2019 Annual Meeting will be held on October 4th and 5th at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point outdoor center and conservation camp at TreeHaven near Tomahawk. 

Our Annual Meeting will bring together many of Wisconsin’s most regarded conservation and environmental experts along with agency staff and inspired citizens.  Join us for learning, great ideas, and visiting old friends and making new ones.

Check out the latest on the program. At the Saturday business meeting, we will elect several new directors to the board of directors. Download a pdf of the board nominees. The board is bringing changes to the bylaws for review and approval by the members. See a summary of changes and download a pdf of the proposed amended bylaws.

Meeting Archives

Art by Terry Daulton