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Originally from Michigan, Leo Rasmussen came to Alaska in 1962 to attend the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. In the summer of 1963, he did fishery work for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Nome, and in the spring of 1964 he worked on the North Slope doing test drilling for oil development. His 1963 summer experience got him interested in life in rural Alaska, so he moved to Nome in 1964. Leo quickly became enthralled with dog mushing and in 1973 got involved with the Iditarod Dog Sled Race from Anchorage to Nome. He has been an outspoken promoter of and advocate for the dog race and related protection and management of the Iditarod Historic Trail ever since. He was appointed to the Iditarod National Historic Trail Advisory Council in the early 1980's and served as its president for many years, attended National Scenic and Historic Trails conferences in the Lower 48, and advocated on behalf of historic trail protection and management issues in Washington, D.C. Leo remained active after 1999 when the Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance was formed, where he also served as president. Leo organized local trail projects through the Nome Trail Blazers, including putting up large signs along the trail with the Iditarod Historic Trail logo on them, and installing large wooden tripod trail markers along the coastal section of trail from Nome to Solomon. He also organized a project where mushers carried packets of official hand-canceled mail over the trail to help create a connection with the trail's history. Leo also served on Nome's City Council and as mayor, and with his wife, Erna, raised a family in Nome. Leo currently lives in Fairbanks, Alaska.