When I tell people that I’m the president of the Smokey Bear Association I know it is inevitable that I will be asked “What is the Smokey Bear Association and what do they do? Don’t the members just trade Smokey Bear dolls with each other?”
My usual answer is “We are over 150 members from across the US who’s mission is to Preserve Smokey’s Past, Promote His Present, Protect His Future.”
So the next question people ask is “Who are the members and do they all collect Smokey Bear items?” To that I say “most do have collections but we have many members who are a important part of Smokey Bear’s history and his future. Usually I get a answer of, that’s nice.
So with that in mind I decided to put down on paper a list of accomplishments in the Smokey Bear world that some of the Smokey Bear Associations members have achieved.
THE SMOKEY BEAR ASSOCIATION HAS:
Ten Smokey Bear Award Winners: (The Oscar of the Smokey Bear world)
One member has won three Smokey Bear Awards. Gold, Silver, Bronze. One of only three people to ever be so honored.
One member wrote the book Smokey Bear 20252
One member was the USFS National Smokey Bear Program Manager 1976-1982
One member is currently writing a historical novel about Smokey Bear the cub.
One member is the Owner and Director of the Fire Lookout Museum (full of Smokey Bear rare items and displays)
One member is a Celebrated Smokey Bear Artist
One member worked with the Rudy Wenedlin family in setting up a Wenedlin Art Work Display, Rudy Wendelin and the Creation of an Icon at The Chrysler Museum of Art in Virginia
One member was part of the Smokey Bear 50th. birthday celebration at the White House in Washington DC.
Two members were instrumental in setting up the Smokey Bear Programs in Virginia, and California. Both have garnered national honors for the work.
Two members own Woodland Enterprises/Smokey Bear Gifts. One of the largest on-line retailer of Smokey Bear products. Their catalog is considered the Bible of Smokey Bear items.
Three members had close ties with Smokey’s caretaker and artist Rudy Wenedlin.
Six or more of the top Smokey Bear collectors in the world are SBA members.
The Smokey Bear Museum in Capitan, NM is a member
The Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, NM is a member
Friends of the Smokey Bear Balloon Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to assisting federal, state, and local agencies to educate preventing human-caused wildfires are members.
The Smokey Bear Association has become the nationally recognized source for answers to questions ranging from manufacturing date, origin, value, and authenticity of Smokey Bear. When the Ad Council, USFS, The National Association of State Foresters were building their web page smokeybear.com/vault they relied heavily on the SBA for photos, descriptions and information about Smokey Bear memorabilia and collectibles. With the launch of the SBA’s new web page and four facebook pages we are constantly being contacted with Smokey Bear related questions and inquiries.
That is who we are and what we do. The SBA is so much more then a bunch of people who trade dolls.
With that impressive list of who’s who of Smokey Bear I often wonder how I got to be the president of such a wonderful organization.
Smokey Bear Asociation