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McCollum and Colleagues Honor 75 Years of Smokey Bear

December 27, 2019
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), released the following statement today after introducing H.Res.775, a resolution honoring the 75th birthday of Smokey Bear:

“After carrying the torch on wildfire prevention for 75 years, I’m pleased to honor Smokey Bear and all he has done to educate Americans about the dangers of unwanted human-caused wildfires. As the longest running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history, Smokey has been hugely successful at igniting interest and awareness of how everyday Americans can prevent wildfires and protect forest health, all while becoming one of the most recognizable characters in the world. But after 75 years, the flame of Smokey’s famous ‘Only You Can Prevent Wildfires’ catchphrase has started to flicker overlooking that we now know some natural and prescribed fires can be beneficial for the environment. By encouraging the Smokey Bear campaign to explore ways his message can be modernized, we can ensure Smokey will continue to spark the attention of future scientists in classrooms across the country, and stay true to his original message of preventing unwanted wildfires.”


  • The full text of H.Res.775 can be found here.
  • Thank you to original co-sponsors: Rep. David Joyce (OH-14); Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02); Rep. Don Young (AK-AL); Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01); Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03); and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01).

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