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Felix Koziol

Hall of Fame Class of 1974

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Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Sverre Engen.

Recognizing a need, Felix C. Koziol co-authored the first official publication on avalanches, the ALTA AVALANCHE STUDIES. This was followed in 1954 by the first official government handbook on avalanches and in 1961 by a handbook, SNOW AVALANCHES, the bible for snow rangers everywhere.

Serving 42 years with the United States Forest Service, 21 of these spent as supervisor of the Wasatch National Forest in Utah, Felix C. Koziol did an outstanding job of promoting skiing in America.

Becoming interested in skiing in 1936, he was an ardent booster and hard-working supporter of the sport he loved so well. In 1938 as recreational staff officer in the Ogden Regional Forest Service, he had an opportunity to start promoting skiing in earnest by helping to survey and plan many ski areas in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. After years of development, many of these areas are now rated among the best in the world.

In 1942-43 Mr. Koziol was Supervisor of the Teton National Forest in Jackson, Wyoming which enabled him to play an important part in the development and promotion of skiing in that area. He was president of the Jackson Hole Ski Club at that time as he had been of the Ogden Ski Club when residing in Ogden.

Felix was transferred to the Wasatch National Forest in Utah in 1943 where the opportunity for developing skiing really grew. The need for avalanche control was recognized at that time and he was instrumental in getting the program underway. He hired and trained the first Snow Rangers who carried on a scientific research program. In 1952 Felix secured artillery to be used in avalanche control, a major step in dealing with this problem.

Recognizing the need, Mr. Koziol co-authored the first official publication on avalanches in 1947, entitled Alta Avalanche Studies. This was followed in 1954 by the first official government handbook on avalanches and in 1961 by Snow Avalanches, a handbook on forecasting and control measures. This has become the bible for Snow Rangers everywhere.

Working with the State Road Commission of Utah, Mr. Koziol helped institute highway and traffic safety programs for the canyon.

In addition to his busy schedule with the Forest Service, he always found time to serve in all phases of skiing, being an active judge and timer of ski competitions for many years. For 10 years he was the secretary for the Intermountain Ski Association as well as International Editor for the American Ski Annual. During this time he was a delegate to many national ski association meetings.

He was one of the first to recognize the need for a unified way to teach skiing. Therefore, he helped to promote the first program for certification of ski instructors and their official professional organization.

Among the honors Mr. Koziol received was a citation from the U.S. Olympic Committee for dedication and support of the U.S. Ski Team in the 1952 Olympics in Oslo, Norway. In 1952 he was awarded the coveted Julius P. Blegen Memorial Emblem Citation for outstanding service to the U.S. Sport of skiing, presented by the National Ski Association of America. He served as chairman of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce Recreation and Winter Sports Committee for many years. In 1966 Mr. Koziol received a citation from the Utah State University for outstanding contributions to Utah sports as a member of Governor Rampton’s committee to study and apply for the 1972 Olympic Games in Utah. He went to Rome to help present the application to the International Olympic Committee. He received the Governors Annual “Ski Utah” Cup Award that same year.

Following retirement from the U.S. Forest Service on December 31, 1964, he wound up his professional career by serving by appointment as director of the Utah State Park System for four and one-half years.

Felix C. Koziol was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1974

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