A Celebration for Harland Haugen

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Donovan Williams
Past President of Snowmobile North Dakota from 1976 to 1978, member of the Board of Directors, and President and Director of the Sheyenne SnoDrifters, Harland Haugen was inducted in the Snowmobile North Dakota Hall of Fame, 2018, as Snowmobiler of the Year. Though Haugen was not able to be at the celebration, his Valley City friends still held a little get-together at the Barnes County Historical Society Museum on Thursday night.
Through his friends and fellow snowmobilers, it was clear that snowmobiling has been a life-long sport for Haugen and many people shared stories and had special things to say about him.
Snowmobile North Dakota is an organization that was founded in 1974. Their goal has always been to be number one in providing safe and effective snowmobile opportunities in the state. Fourteen smaller trail organizations exist as clubs, one of them being SnoDrifters in Valley City.
Chris Iverson, Secretary of the SnoDrifters, praised Haugen for all he has done for the organization.
"Harland has been in the club since the beginning," Iverson said. "He also did lobbying out at the legislature for some bills and that is a part of how we fund our system. He was instrumental at the local and state-wide levels with events, organizing, and serving as an officer."
Longtime friend Sandy Lang also shared a little bit of Haugen's history.
"He was one of the first Presidents of our club," Lang said. "Harland was a big part of the group that got the trail started south of Valley City."
Todd Anderson is another friend of Haugen's and his mother was the treasurer while Haugen was President.
"Valley City left a good footprint on Snowmobile North Dakota," Anderson said. "Back in the early days, Harland was big on the state level—went to battle for gas taxes in the legislature—this was part of the trail funding which still stands today."
Anderson reflected a little more on what he calls Haugen's "wilder" days.
"He enjoyed racing. He did the snowmobile races down at the Sheyenne Valley speedway south of town," Anderson said. "He really liked trail riding. We put together some rides for the Easter Seals fundraiser. We rode all the way to Devil's Lake from Valley City. Another year we rode all the way to Bismarck from Valley City. It was quite a group."
The SnoDrifters continue to groom and maintain trails for fellow snowmobilers in the Valley City area, educate the public on snowmobile safety and registration, and generate excitement about this sport. Much of it is thanks to people like Haugen. Other local members inducted into the Hall of Fame include Shawn Cole and Gary Buck in 2005 and 2011.
The SnoDrifters fall under Region 4 of the Board of Directors for Snowmobile ND.
For further information people may contact Shawn Cole at scole2055@gmail.com or Joel Iverson at vcsledheads@msn.com.
The organization relies heavily on support from volunteers. That being said, people interested are encouraged to come out and lend a hand.