Through the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) Program, the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), and the Advertising Council sponsor the national Smokey Bear Awards to recognize outstanding service in the prevention of human caused wildfires and to increase public recognition and awareness of the need for continuing wildfire prevention efforts. The Smokey Bear Awards are the highest national honor one can receive for outstanding work and significant program impact in wildfire prevention. This merit award has been bestowed on well-deserving groups and individuals annually since 1957.
There are three possible award levels each year, based on the geographical scope of the nominated work:
Additionally, Smokey Bear Certificates and Plaques may be awarded to a few select nominees to recognize their potential to receive future Smokey Bear Awards or for State Forestry agencies to independently recognize outstanding wildfire prevention efforts.
Individuals, agencies, or organizations that have made outstanding contributions with significant program impact in prevention of human caused wildfires are eligible for nomination. Wildfire prevention service includes, but is not limited to: efforts in education, law enforcement, and engineering; journalism and media coverage; advertising campaigns; informational programs; training; risk assessment; prescribed fire used for prevention; committee leadership; volunteerism; fund raising; providing support services for fire prevention (e.g., legal services); and individual presentations. Project(s) must be completed and cover at least a two-year period.
Activities relating to fire prevention for structures do not qualify for the Smokey Bear Awards. Nominations that focus on developing defensible space, reducing fuels, etc., should be submitted for Firewise Leadership Awards (see www.firewise.org).
Posthumous awards may be given if the work nominated occurred within the last three years or still has significant influence or long term measurable impact in today’s CFFP program. This award is not intended as a retirement or departure recognition award.
Nominations for all Smokey Bear awards can be made during the nomination
period by anyone having knowledge of the outstanding wildfire prevention
efforts of the nominee, and must be recommended by the appropriate US
Forest Service Forest Supervisor (or higher) or the appropriate State
Forester. Department of Interior nominations should include appropriate
line officer recommendation. Detailed nomination information is provided
in the official Call for Nominations, which is available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/prev_ed/smokeybearawards/