Fact Sheet


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Purpose

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.

Award Levels

There are three possible award levels each year, based on the geographical scope of the nominated work:

  • Golden Smokey Bear Award – This is the highest honor given to organizations or individuals for outstanding wildfire prevention service over at least a two-year period that is national in scope. A maximum of three Golden Smokey Bear awards may be given annually.
  • Silver Smokey Bear Award – This is the highest honor given to organizations or individuals for outstanding wildfire prevention service over at least a two-year period that is regional (multi-state) in scope. A maximum of five Silver Smokey Bear awards may be given annually.
  • Bronze Smokey Bear Award – This is the highest honor given to organizations or individuals for outstanding wildfire prevention service over at least a two-year period that has impact within a state. A maximum of ten Bronze Smokey Bear awards may be given annually.

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.

Eligibility

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.

Nomination Process

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/ and http://www.smokeybear.com/awards.