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ISSA Annual Convention Rotates to Western Iowa this Month
The ISSA Annual Convention returns to the Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center at Okoboji
Nov.16-18 as the host site rotates to western Iowa this fall.
Full registration costs $75 and lodging is $79/night. Contact the hotel above to make your
reservations. Click here for the convention agenda. Click here to register, donate as a sponsor and sign
up for the Snowmobile Iowa showcase.
The Dickinson County Snowhawks will be hosting a vintage snowmobile show on Saturday, and the
Lyon County Sno-Lyons will be sponsoring a hog roast and Avalanche1 avalanche awareness class
With 2018 an even-numbered year, elections for directors in even-numbered regions will held at
convention, and a new president will be named as current ISSA President Chris Willey fulfills his two-
The Iowa State Snowmobile Trail Grant Program will also be electing its Western Representative
seat for its Review and Selection Committee that weekend and also holding a groomer operator
training course on Saturday.
Architect of Snowmobile Program in Iowa Passes Away
Roy Downing of Albia, a 41-year employee of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
and the architect behind the registration fee-based snowmobile program in Iowa, passed away Oct. 14
at the age of 94. Click here for obituary.
Downing served as the Superintendent of Waters for the Iowa Conservation Commission (now the
IDNR) from 1964 until his retirement in 1986. Before that, he worked as a conservation officer in
Appanoose and Monroe counties in Iowa.
In 1973, he assumed responsibility for the growing sport of snowmobiling in the state and put in
place many of the same standards he had previously applied to the boating industry, including paying
Downing firmly believed a registration system for snowmobiles would only strengthen the sport and
provide additional riding opportunities. “Pay to play is the only way” was a mantra he often uttered as he
stumped for a fee-based trail system.
Recognizing his contributions to the sport, Downing earned the ISSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award
in 2006. In 1981, he left the snowmobile program, and his second wife, Nancy (Exline) Downing, ran it
for two years.
In 2003, his son, David, became program manager, overseeing both snowmobiles
and all-terrain vehicle registrations in Iowa. In 2016, Downing transferred to another department within
the IDNR but still earned lifetime distinction honors from the ISSA for his 13 years of service.
In 2017, the ISSA gained control of the program from the IDNR.
Toolcat Mower Clearing Trails Across State This Fall
Representing six of the 10 ISSA regions, 13 snowmobile clubs have signed up to use the Toolcat
mower this fall for trail maintenance and preparation.
The ISSA inherited the machine from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources during the transfer of
equipment following the transition in management of the state snowmobile program.
“We are scheduling the unit as efficiently as possible, taking into consideration logistics and
dates requested,” explained Past ISSA President Jim Willey, who is coordinating the unit’s
movement across the state.
If your club is interested in reserving the mower, please contact Willey at (563) 920-0911 or email him
at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note only certified groomer operators are eligible to run the
machine on the trails and or in the ditches.
“When you receive the unit, we ask that you do everything possible to complete your use as quickly as
possible, so it can be moved on to the next club waiting to use it,” he said. “If you are not able to use the
Toolcat when I call you to let you know that it is available, we will take it to the next club on the list and
reschedule your time with it."
|Toolcat in action courtesy Scott County Sno-Seekers Facebook page.