2017-2018 Far West Skier's Guide - 46
From Volunteer to
Skiing's Voice in
by John Watson
History Committee Chair, FWSA
Members of Bob
to accept the
on behalf of
Bob. Unfortunately, he was
unable to attend. Shown are: FRONT ROW - L TO R:
Eric Straubhar, Jim Greenwood, Dottie Greenwood, Gail
Greenwood, Micah Sandusky. BACK ROW - L TO R: Jana
Straubhar, Jennifer DeWitt, Annie Greenwood, Carrie
Gochnour. Bob opened the original Greenwood's Ski
Haus in 1957 and ran it until 1985. Top photo by Cindy
Sherman Photography, others provided by John Watson
Dedicated to Sport & Community
by John Watson
History Committee Chair, FWSA
Bob Greenwood arrived in Boise in 1950 with his degree in Physical Education from WSC
(WSU from 1959) earned on the GI Bill for his Navy service in World War II. This was the
start of the Bob Greenwood of Boise. Bob's passion and drive over the next four decades have
made an indelible impact on the development of recreational skiing at Bogus Basin and regionally.
Bob had some experience in the university ski shop and recreational racing. So when he
arrived in Boise, he took jobs in several ski shops in the 1950s until he opened his own tiny
store in 1957 - Greenwood's Ski Haus. And it continues today, albeit after several changes of
ownership and location. Bob operated the Ski Haus through 1985 and it and his relationships
had a regional influence in equipment sales. What started in tough times became good times
as skiing became a mass recreation.
Concurrent with his employment in ski shops, Bob started with the Bogus Basin Ski
School as an instructor. He taught skiing for a quarter century through 1976 and for much of
this time, he was part of a traveling team of PNSIA examiners. His territory went from Sun
Valley to all the big Washington and Oregon hills nearer the west coast.
In 1985, Bob started what he called the Prime Timers, a group he invited to Bogus Basin
to make some tension-relaxing afternoon runs. The only qualification was that the skier had
to be at least aged 50. In those days, he often greeted medical personnel on their Wednesday
afternoons. Bob still skis with the Prime Timers at 91 years young, although he has passed the
lead of the program.
Both Bob and his wife Dottie, whom he married in 1958, are life members of the Bogus
Basin Ski Club and emeritus members of the Bogus Basin Recreation Association. ss
Skiing and skiers were under great pressures in the 1965 - 1985 era due not only to
the immense increase in popularity of skiing,
but also from political action. Environmental
activism created a long, bruising battle that
mobilized FWSA members, clubs and councils
to a level not experienced since. The skiers'
battle became focused on the Disney proposal
for development of Mineral King, the poster
child in the battle for skiing, but the issue expanded quickly to a broader issue - the use of
the public lands for skiing.
In an extraordinary set of actions, she
took the initiative to do something about a significant threat to the future of skiing. She
started her campaign in her own ski club, Balboa, and then in 1977 the Southern Council
and San Francisco Ski Shows. She produced
the world's "longest letter" to the Forest Service - and whoever else would listen - to proceed with the development of Mineral King.
She had no expense money, so Balboa members raised $632 to send her to Washington
with her letter. That was September, 1977.
Later, thanks to a generous donation from Disney to fund Nancy full time, she commenced
flying into Washington regularly. She had
evolved from club activist to Association committeeperson, and then to full time as Director
of Public Affairs in October 1977.
Nancy opened a Washington office for
FWSA in May 1978 and a new USSA/Sports
Government Relations office on Pennsylvania
Avenue in June, 1981. Except for Inaugural duties for incoming President Ronald Reagan,
she served as the principal Washington voice
for skiers' interests for nearly ten frenzied
years. She became a go-to expert in Washington on skiing matters for many agencies and
The Sierra Club sued the Forest Service
over its environmental impact assessment for
Mineral King. The suit ultimately reached the
Supreme Court. FWSA and others had filed
an amicus curiae brief in favor of skiing. The
Sierra Club suit failed. But, then came legislation to put Mineral King into Sequoia National
Park. This would kill Mineral King for skiing,
Far West Skier's Guide 2O17 - 2O18 / See the Digital Edition of the Far West Skier's Guide at www.fwsa.org.