Snowmobiling Champion Honored For Dedication To Trails, Land Access

Jack Welch gives his acceptance speech after receiving the award from Kristi Bohlender, Executive Director of the Colorado State University Alumni Association.

Being a champion of a cause can often be a thankless job — especially when that cause requires countless hours dealing with bureaucrats, sitting in dull meeting, pouring over local, state and national laws and regulations, and becoming the go-to expert on the minutia of a particular topic. 

Luckily for us — and for Jack Welch — his alma mater decided it didn’t have to be thankless after all, and Colorado State University (CSA) bestowed its 50 Year Club’s Public Service Award on the man who has been a champion in the outdoor motorized recreation field in general and snowmobiling specifically since the 1960s!  

Those who pay attention to such things may know Welch as a leader in the BlueRibbon Coalition, or as an extremely knowledgable resource on the successful effort to keep snowmobiling access to Yellowstone National Park in recent years. But his history in snowmobiling and off-road recreation dates back to 1968. In fact, he helped originally found the Colorado Snowmobile Association.  

Below is the press release from the Blue Ribbon Coalition about Welch’s recent honor. On a personal note, we at Snow Goer would like to personally congratulate Jack on this much deserved honor, and thank him for everything he has done for our sport because we — like many snowmobilers — also don’t thank people like him enough. 



FORT COLLINS, CO (October 17, 2018) – Sharetrails.Org/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is proud to announce that, Jack Welch – former coalition President and current Vice President, was honored recently with the Colorado State University (CSU) 50 Year Club’s Public Service Award. This award recognizes alumni who have contributed works of public service (e.g., government, clubs, charities, or organizations that are not industry or profession oriented).

 Welch has been a leader in the outdoor recreation community for the past 50 years. He has worked to create and maintain responsible outdoor recreation opportunities for the public. After leaving CSU in 1968 and going to work for Sears Roebuck and Company he became involved with outdoor recreation activities. He helped form the Mile Hi Snowmobile Club, which later became the Colorado Association Snowmobile Clubs.

With the help of other snowmobile clubs, he went to the Colorado Legislature and the Colorado Snowmobile Registration Program was created in 1970. During that time, he also helped CSU start a young alumni program. He was appointed to the CSU Alumni board of directors and was President of the Colorado Spring CSU alumni chapter.

Jack Welch talking with Dr. Tony Frank, President of Colorado State University. Click to enlarge.

Welch was one of the leaders that helped form the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO).  As the Chair of COHVCO he worked with the motorized community and Colorado Legislature to create the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) registration program. That program today registers over 150,000 ATVs, UTVs and Dirt Bikes.

He was appointed to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) Advisor Board by the Secretary of Interior. On the CDNST board he worked to assure all members of the recreation community had access to the CDNST in appropriate locations on this 3500-mile trail from Canada to Mexico.

In 1985 he was asked to help form the Foundation for Colorado Parks; he still serves on their board today and helps allocate thousands of dollars for recreation in Colorado.

Welch helped establish the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), which is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit that works to provide responsible access to public lands for recreation activities. He served as president of the Coalition for 11 years. After stepping down from this role he continued to be a vital part of the BRC team as its volunteer National Snowmobile Ambassador. In 2018 he resumed a position as an officer on the BRC Board of Directors, this time taking on the role of vice president.

Welch’s leadership and service to the recreational community has made a difference. This award appropriately recognizes Welch’s hard work and accomplishments on behalf of both the snowmobile community and the recreation community in general. BRC is proud of Welch’s accomplishments, and pleased to see them recognized.

Editor’s Note: Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door 6 times per year for a low cost.   

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