ELEMENT + SMOKEY BEAR
ELEMENT + SMOKEY BEAR
"ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT WILDFIRES."
This spring, as the urge to head out into the wilderness becomes stronger as the days grow longer, Element has teamed up with Smokey Bear, the famous masoct of the U.S. Forest Service's wildfire prevention campaign.
The goal for this collaborative collection of apparel and hardgoods is to continue spreading the mission of Smokey Bear via this exclusive line of goods that feature some of the most iconic Smokey images from throughout the decades.
IT ALL STARTED WITH A WAR, A FIRE AND A BEAR CUB...
With most able-bodied men serving in the U.S. armed forces during World War II, wildland fire crews were severly depleted and the protection of forests against wildfires became a matter of national importance. At that moment, a new idea was born. If people could be urged to be more careful, perhaps some of the fires could be prevented. To rally Americans to this cause, the Forest Service organized the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) program.
Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history, educating generations of Americans about their role in preventing wildfires. On August 9, 1944, the creation of Smokey Bear was authorized by the US Forest Service, and the first poster was delivered on October 10 by artist Albert Staehle. The poster depicted a bear pouring a bucket of water on a campfire.
THEY CALLED HIM "SMOKEY."
In the spring of 1950, a crew of wildland firefighters from the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico rescued a lone bear cub from a raging wildfire in the Capitan Mountains in the southern reaches of the state. The little cub suffered burnt paws and singed hind legs, yet he managed to survive the devestating ordeal.
The cub was flown by a small plane to Santa Fe, New Mexico and was nursed back to health by the park's game warden Ray Bell and his family. After the cub's story started to gain national recognition, Bell and the U.S. Forest Service realized that the injured bear could help raise fire prevention awareness. From that moment, he was known as Smokey and the name stuck. He became the living incarnation of the Forest Service mascot.
A HERO'S WELCOME AND A NATIONAL TREASURE.
News quickly spread of the living Smokey, and he rapidly became a national icon and received myriad gifts - from honey to fan letters. He appeared on postage stamps, posters, television programs and his likeness was shown to school children all round the country.
The original Smokey lived out his days in the National Zoo in Washington D.C. as the face of the fire prevention program until 1976 when he passed away. His remains were then returned to the Capitan Mountains where the Smokey Bear Historical Park was founded in his honor. His lasting legacy has helped to contribute to the saving of millions of acres of forest, wildlife, homes and human lives since his first appearance.
It is with this history in mind, that Element is proud to partner with Smokey Bear, in order to help with this continued effort in fire prevention and wildland/wildlife conservation. A portion of the proceeds from officially licensed Smokey Bear merchandise helps fund the nationwide wildfire prevention campaign.