Dan Seavey, “Centennial Musher”
This year, Iditarod legend Dan Seavey is being sponsored as the ‘Centennial Musher’ by the Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance. Seavey mushed in the first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1973, started the Seward Iditarod Trail Blazers more than 35 years ago, served on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Iditarod Trail Advisory Committee, is a board member of the Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc., and has served as past president and board member of the Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance.
Kevin Keeler, Administrator, Iditarod National Historic Trail, Bureau of Land Management
Kevin Keeler has lived in Alaska for 28 years. Stationed at the BLM Anchorage Field Office, Keeler is the agency’s “trail-ologist” for the Iditarod National Historic Trail (NHT). Congress defined BLM’s formal role for the Iditarod NHT as coordinating and facilitating “the implementation of the interagency comprehensive plan for the Trail.” This translates into Kevin’s day-by-day tasks from helping volunteer partner groups develop their capacity to work on the NHT and maintain a “paper trail” for grants, to working on-the-ground (and snow) to build safety cabins, clear the trails, and install markers to make the trail safer, educational, and enjoyable. Since many trail projects take place in remote corners of Alaska, Keeler may travel hundreds of miles over land on the NHT to do the work with local partners. “I love getting out into bush Alaska in the winter,” Kevin Keeler says, “where miles and miles of the land is covered with snow and much more easily traveled than in the summer, when it’s a swampy, mosquito-infested bog.” He says the landscape fills him with awe, but “the accomplishments of our predecessors who lived on this land without the comforts we enjoy today is staggering.”