DATE OF INDUCTION: February 20, 2010
CAREER SPAN: 1971–Present
BRANDS RACED: Arctic Cat, Yamaha & Scorpion
AGE AT INDUCTION: 71
The spectacle of snowmobiling through nature’s grandeur is usually made possible through the tireless efforts by dedicated people who commit themselves to the good fight. Clyde Seely of West Yellowstone, Montana, is one such person. Seely is synonymous with snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park and the town in which he resides, having operated a resort and other businesses there since 1970.
As the first person to market, package and promote snowmobiling in West Yellowstone beginning in 1972, Seely helped it become the unofficial “Snowmobile Capital of the World.” The growth and popularity of snowmobiling there transformed the town into a year-round economy, which brought with it previously unavailable services and improved livability to its residents. When snowmobiling in the Park first came under attack in 1985, Seely was a visionary who helped form coalitions to battle the well-healed political forces. In 2000 he helped convince Arctic Cat to produce a limited number of prototype 4-stroke-powered snowmobiles. Dubbed “The Yellowstone Special,” this machine is credited as a “last ditch” effort that truly swayed Park officials and politicians that snowmobiles could have a future in Yellowstone.
Seely’s common-sense approach to land use, coupled with his leadership in economic growth and political tenacity, helped preserve snowmobiling’s place in the nation’s first National Park. It has made Seely a classic example that, when it comes to public land use, no battle is too big, and no single person too small.