BlackStrap is proud to partner with the world’s most well-known bear and American icon - Smokey Bear - to spread the message of conscious wildfire prevention by creating a new collection of licensed facegear and goggle covers for adults and kids. These pieces feature iconic Smokey Bear artwork and new, modern USA-made designs that consumers have come to expect from BlackStrap.
BlackStrap’s ethos has always been a sustainability forward approach to operations, building products and developing as a brand. With the partnership between BlackStrap and the U.S. Forest Service and collections with evo and retail partners worldwide, the focus will be supporting the continuing education of human-caused fire prevention and carrying on Smokey Bear’s message of stewardship, because “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires.”
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. As one of the world's most recognizable characters, Smokey's image is protected by U.S. federal law and is administered by the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. Despite the campaign's success over the years, wildfire prevention remains one of the most critical issues affecting our country. Smokey's message is as relevant and urgent today as it was in 1944.
Smokey’s original catchphrase was "Smokey Says – Care Will Prevent 9 out of 10 Forest Fires." In 1947, it became "Remember... Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires." In 2001, it was again updated to its current version of "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires" in response to a massive outbreak of wildfires in natural areas other than forests and to clarify that Smokey is promoting the prevention of unwanted and unplanned outdoor fires versus prescribed fires.
On August 9, 1944, the creation of Smokey Bear was authorized by the 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. Smokey Bear soon became popular, and his image began appearing on more posters and cards. By 1952, Smokey Bear began to attract commercial interest. An Act of Congress passed which removed Smokey from the public domain and placed him under the control of the Secretary of Agriculture. The Act provided for the use of collected royalties and fees for continued wildfire prevention education.
Though he has already accomplished so much, Smokey’s work is far from over. Wildfire prevention remains crucial, and he still needs your help. His catchphrase reflects your responsibility: Only you can prevent wildfires. Remember that this phrase is so much more than just a slogan: it’s an important way to care for the world around you.