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Humble, quiet DNR snowmobile safety instructor honored

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PIERZ — For three decades, Marvin Dorn has quietly proven himself one of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) most effective snowmobile safety instructors.

Dorn’s commitment and dedication were honored recently when he was named the DNR’s 2012 Snowmobile Safety Instructor of the Year.

A humble man of high principles, the 83-year-old Pierz resident was involved in snowmobiling since the early 1970s before becoming a DNR certified snowmobile instructor in 1990.

The long-time Buckman Trailblazers Snowmobile Club member is known as someone who leads by example in everything he does.

“Even though he’s not the main speaker at classes, Mr. Dorn always sits at the front of the class, involved, showing the students that he cares about what is being taught,” said State Conservation Office Paul Kuske of Pierz, who nominated Dorn for the award.

“When running the students through the field day portion of the course, Marvin is the one leading the way, always willing to take the time to coach students one-on-one when necessary,” said Kuske.

That willingness to spend time teaching safe snowmobile operation likely comes from spending time with his wife Marilyn raising seven children on the family farm and making it a priority to organize snowmobile rides for his family and others. A small track around the house used by their kids to practice safe riding is used today teaching their grandchildren safe snowmobile operation.

When asked why he is a DNR snowmobile safety instructor, Dorn replied: “To hopefully create better snowmobilers, to get young people involved in the club and to promote safe trails for the enjoyment of all.”

Dorn was also instrumental in developing the trail system used by the Buckman Trailblazers Snowmobile Club.

“As a farmer, Marvin had a good relationship with many of the area property owners who gave their blessings to create a snowmobile trail that is a favorite of many in the area. He just gets things done,” said Kuske.

Dorn has spent years personally ensuring the trail is properly marked and maintained so people have a safe and enjoyable ride.

Marilyn Dorn says this lifetime achievement award is special to her husband.

“He is proud of the years of work and dedication he has put into the sport. It is something very special to him and this award made him realize that all his work was noticed and appreciated,” said Marilyn Dorn.

DNR Conservation Officers work closely with more than 1,500 volunteer snowmobile safety instructors. Through the efforts of these volunteer instructors, more than 257,000 snowmobilers have graduated from DNR snowmobile safety education courses since 1969.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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