Smokey Bear turns 75

MEEKER | Smokey Bear, the iconic character who has represented the U.S. Forest Service and fire safety for several generations, turns 75 this year. To celebrate, the U.S. Forest Service is conducing a nationwide tour highlighting the familiar artwork of Rudolph Wendelin, whose paintings of Smokey first appeared in 1949 and continued well into Wendelin’s retirement from the Forest Service.

The White River National Forest/Blanco Ranger District is honored to be the first stop on the tour with an exhibit to be housed at the Meeker Elementary School library. The computer-generated replications of Wendelin’s art are expected to arrive Thursday, Feb. 7.

The District plans to host a birthday celebration at 6 p.m. that evening for the public with Smokey Bear in attendance. Once the artwork is on display, members of the public can call the elementary school library for a viewing. Contact Lynn Lockwood at the Blanco Ranger District for details at 970-878-4039.

The story of SMOKEY BEAR from JD Andrews on Vimeo.

By NIKI TURNER | editor@ht1885.com