International Snowmobile Hall of Fame - Eagle River, WI

ISHOF Inductees - 1991

Ray Brandt - 1991 Inductee to International Snowmobile Hall of Fame - Eagle River, WI

Ray Brandt - Volunteer
Boise, Idaho

Ray first became associated with snowmobiling December 27, 1958 when he and his family spent Christmas visiting relatives in Roseau, Minnesota, where he was born and raised. It was then Edgar Hetteen, a boyhood friend, convinced Ray to take his initial ride on one of the new snow machines. That Winter, following a trip to test the new machines in higher elevations and steep terrain of the West, Edgar had the occasion to leave a machine at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He suggested that Ray pick up the sled and spend the rest of the winter testing it. Before the next season, he became a part-time dealer and salesman for Polaris snowmobiles. Ray visualized the possibilities of this new machine not only for sales to utilities, governmental agencies, farmers and other work-related users but also for fun. To promote the "fun," in 1962, he organized a week-long snowmobile safari across a range of mountains in Central Idaho, terminating in Sun Valley. The safari was well documented and was memorialized in the Polaris Western powered sports classic film/video "Winter World of Adventure." Later, Ray established a Polaris distributorship which covered the Western United States. Ray saw the need for a strong local snowmobile club and state snowmobile association combination to battle for the new sport's survival. So, in 1965, he took the lead in the formation of the Western Snowmobile Association. He was personally involved in establishing a number of snowmobile organizations and associations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California/Nevada and Western Chapter of the International Snowmobile Council. Ray was a founding member and Past President of the Iron Dog Brigade and has also been actively involved in countless issues concerning public land use or access. As a result of more than thirty (30) years of involvement with snowmobiling, he has also been the recipient of numerous snowmobile-related awards. As a volunteer, Ray has given much of his time and talent to benefit the sport. Service clubs and governmental entities have also benefited substantially from Ray's involvement and participation.


Bill Howell - 1991 Inductee to International Snowmobile Hall of Fame - Eagle River, WI

F. William "Bill" Howell - Volunteer
West Yellowstone, Montana

Along with his wife Carole, Bill began a snowmobile rental operation near West Yellowstone, Montana in the late 1970s. Soon, their operation expanded to include Flagg Ranch and Watach State Park near Heber, Utah. But it was Yellowstone National Park that Bill vigorously promoted as a snowmobiler's paradise. He joined the Montana Snowmobile Association and served as its President from 1981 to 1983. During this time, he was responsible for publishing the first �Montana Guide to Snowmobiling." When problems arose regarding motorized access to the Park, Bill invited influential State and National political figures along with governmental agency heads to tour the Park via snowmobile. They experienced first hand what the Park had to offer and realized the tremendous tourism and economic impact that snowmobiling would bring. Bill and Carole offered a special youth package for nearly a thousand Boy Scouts from the Northwestern states to go snowmobiling during their Christmas vacation. A member of the Montana Fish and Game Commission from 1987- 1991, Bill was instrumental in funding Montana's first "Snowmobile Impact Study". In 1987, Bill assisted in preparing Montana's Snowmobile Liability Law to protect both riders and landowners. Bill coordinated the trail grooming activities in West Yellowstone for many years. In addition to his large rental operation, he also owns a snowmobile dealership in West Yellowstone. Both Bill and Carole are also active in Local, State and National organizations regarding snowmobiling. Bill is a charter member of the Iron Dog Brigade and received their Distinguished Service Award in 1990.


Don Dabbs - 1991 Inductee to International Snowmobile Hall of Fame - Eagle River, WI

Dan Martin - Volunteer
Davenport, Iowa

Dan was nominated by the Iowa State Snowmobile Association (ISSA) in recognition of his many years of service to the ISSA and to snowmobiling. He originally became involved in the organizational aspect of the sport when he was elected President of the Scott Count Sno-Seekers. He later became the Assistant Regional Director of ISSA and was a leader in the promotion of "Positive Snowmobiling" in the state of Iowa. Soon, Dan was elected Director of ISSA in 1980 and became its Vice President a year later. Dan represented the state of Iowa and ISSA at the International Snowmobile Congress annually since 1982. He associated himself with snowmobiling's promotional efforts at both the State and National levels by his involvement in the ISSA Snow Show and Convention. In 1983, Dan was elected President of ISSA and also accepted an appointment to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Snowmobile Advisory Board. In 1986, he was elected Co-Chair of ISC's Midwest Chapter and, in 1988, assumed its Chairmanship. Perhaps Dan's most important contribution to snowmobiling was his work in developing an affordable and comprehensive liability insurance policy for snowmobile clubs. At the time, there was not a policy that covered the specific needs of clubs. Today, thanks to Dan and his leadership, over 900 snowmobile clubs across the country are covered by the insurance program Dan developed. The "Iowa Golden Club" was established by Dan and is composed of Past Presidents of ISSA who actively assist the State of Iowa's current leaders in the operation of its snowmobile program. Dan Martin has devoted much of his life personifying the true meaning of volunteerism. His involvement in Local, County, State and National organizations has been recognized in promoting, developing and advancing the sport of snowmobiling.


Don Dabbs - 1991 Inductee to International Snowmobile Hall of Fame - Eagle River, WI

Don Dabbs - Volunteer
Pine, Colorado

The love of the great outdoors inspired Don to preserve snowmobiling on Colorado Public Lands. In 1969, Colorado Congress was planning to outlaw snowmobiling however Mile Hi Snowmobiling Club, through representation of Don Dabbs, asked Congress to postpone it until 1971, when the present laws were passed. In 1975, a bill to move a snowmobile registration to the Division of Revenue was defeated by testifying before legislative committees. The same bill was introduced and promoted by Don Dabbs to move the snowmobiling to the Division of Parks along with $29,000 as start up money. It was successful. Don testified before two (2) committees. In 1977, a bill was introduced to return the registration fees back to snowmobilers. After 2 1/2 months of monitoring and testifying, that was accomplished. A state snowmobile newsletter was started in 1977 and mailed to individuals.  In 1981, the snowmobile-related, newspaper-style publication became known as Snow Scoop. Don was publisher of Snow Scoop until Spring 1985. To fight wilderness closures and promote snowmobiling, Don and his staff went to the Colorado State Fair every year from 1978-1981. They were successful in getting the amount of land lowered from six (6) million acres to 1 1/2 million. In 1979, Don was appointed to a Resolve Committee. By then, Colorado Governor Dick Lamm and Regional Forester Craig Rupp went to work on the Wilderness conflict. They met twice a week for six (6) weeks. Don was President of Colorado Snowmobile Association for five (5) years and his attendance at Wilderness meetings averaged every two (2) weeks. By Don's estimation, a 65% reduction in Wilderness boundaries was achieved. In March 1981, the first Colorado State Snowmobile Tour was organized and led by Don, inviting out-of-state residents to join the tour and experience the snow of the Rocky Mountains. This annual event continues today and is popular with out-of-state residents who snowmobile. Don also became an instructor for the Snowmobile Safety Education program to qualify youth snowmobilers in meeting licensing requirements. This snowmobile safety program is still being in use today.


Carmi Duso - 1991 Inductee to International Snowmobile Hall of Fame - Eagle River, WI

Carmi Duso - Volunteer
East Montpelier, Vermont

Carmi had his first snowmobile experience in 1927 utilizing a modified Model T Ford automobile with tracks installed. He was exposed to snowmobiles during his professional life in forestry and mining but never really got involved with them until after his retirement. He began working on the local level with his club to develop a trail system that was interconnected with other area clubs. Then, on the County level, he continued to promote interconnecting trails leading to a statewide interconnecting trail system. Carmi was soon elected as Executive Director of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) and led its growth into a strong and highly respected statewide organization. When Carmi donned his bright green blazer and went to the Capitol to lobby for trail funding, he was a force to be reckoned with. Small in stature, but big in determination, the Legislature knew Carmi meant business. Carmi initiated the first corridor trail system in the East and, in 1972, introduced standardized trail numbering and signing for the 2300 mile Vermont system. When funding for signage was limited, Carmi spent the Summer months cutting out wooden signs and painting them in his basement. Carmi is recognized as the leader of trail development, signing and funding in Vermont. He worked with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation to develop its successful trails program. Carmi was inducted into the Iron Dog Brigade in 1990 and continued to ride snowmobiles up until age 98. He is known as "Mr. Snowmobile" in Vermont.