Licensing of Smokey Bear

A logo with Smokey Bear in the center and the words Official Licensee, cooperative forest fire prevention program about the outer circle.

The Forest Service contracts with an independent brand licensing agency to serve as the Forest Service’s partner to provide professional services that meet the commercial licensing and marketing objectives for Smokey Bear. A licensing agreement is required for all third-party use of the image and likeness of Smokey Bear which generates revenue. Licensing agreements are approved on a case-by-case basis and may be for a term of years or for a one-time use, depending on the product and use of the Smokey Bear image.

Become an official Smokey Bear Licensee, be a part of an iconic brand and help spread the wildfire prevention message. Sales from officially licensed merchandise assist in providing education for wildfire prevention.

Licensees benefit from a history of 75 years of American culture and social consciousness created by Smokey Bear. As an iconic brand, Smokey Bear is immediately recognized, trusted and embraced. Learn more about the Smokey Bear licensing value proposition.

The authorized licensing agent supports the USDA Forest Service in setting and implementing the Smokey Bear licensing strategy and managing the day-to-day needs of the program.   In addition to promoting opportunities for Smokey Bear product placement at retail, the agency identifies and signs new licensees and assists current licensees with program and royalty compliance.

If there are any questions about the licensing program or licensees, please email the licensing agency or the Forest Service.

The image and likeness of Smokey Bear are protected and use enforced.  Report unauthorized or questionable uses of Smokey Bear to Sm.fs.sblicensing@usda.gov.

Licensing Procedure

Corporations or individuals interested in becoming an Official Smokey Bear Licensee to produce and market products using the Smokey Bear image and/or likeness are welcome to apply for a license. There is an application fee that is payable upon execution of the license. Negotiated royalty fees are based on gross sales and are collected quarterly. The program maintains a portfolio of graphic assets which are available to all licensees to assist in developing Smokey Bear products. For more information and to obtain an application please contact the licensing agency.

One-time Use Agreements

One-time Use Agreements are available for time limited or short duration projects involving Smokey Bear. These agreements are fee based and are typically required for published works, short duration projects, or uses of Smokey Bear that do not fall under commercial licensing.

Permission to use images of Smokey Bear in publications requires submission of the article for review. Depending on the type of publication, a review of additional material may be required. Books about Smokey Bear will require a full review. The use of images or products in film productions requires script review.  We will charge a nominal fee for one-time use agreements which are commercial in nature.  The fee is based on the amount of material requiring review.

Persons interested in submitting a License Proposal for a one-time use agreement should contact the USDA Forest Service, Smokey Bear Licensing manager at sm.fs.sblicensing@usda.gov. Requests should clearly describe the proposed use of Smokey Bear. Please provide ample time for the review process.