Wow, when was the last time you’ve seen a Smokey The Bear used in an advertisement? Well I found one on Big Pine Key, but first a little history lesson on the bears name and origin. He’s been called Smokey Bear, Smokey The Bear and simply Smokey. Smokey was created in 1944 by the U.S. Forestry Service as their mascot to educate the public about the dangers of forest fires. He thrived for decades and then faded into relative obscurity till being brought back in 2001 with an updated message and look that evidently didn’t woo the kids as much as Pokémon or Dragon Ball Z. 🙂 No matter what you call him I’m sure it brings back Saturday morning cartoon commercials telling us with that stern look and pointing at you saying: “ONLY YOU CAN PREVENT FOREST FIRES!”.
So take a few minutes and find Smokey The Bear on your next trip down with the children and ask your granddaughter to take a picture of you beside Smokey… because frankly they won’t know who he is! 🙂 Smokey Bear is recognized by nearly 95% of adults my age… and I’m not telling 🙂 and only 70% of younger generations.
You can find this icon of the past no matter if you call him Smokey, Smokey Bear or Smokey The Bear in front of the Big Pine Key Forestry Station located just 0.4 miles down Key Deer Blvd. on the left after turning at Mile Marker 30.4 bayside off of US-1.