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.
This year, the highest honor, the Golden Smokey Bear Award, was given out to its deserving honoree at our Backyards & Beyond Conference. Gene Kodama with the South Carolina Forestry Commission, Jim Hubbard with the USDA Forest Service and Fred, the nominator, presented Gwen Hensley with this year's award. Gwen has worked internationally as a visual information specialist with the US Forest Service. She has taken safety and prevention messages and graphically represented them. In doing so, she is able to help people relate to the messages by bringing them to life.
Gwen, we are honored to share in the celebration of you and all of your outstanding wildfire prevention efforts, and congratulate you wholeheartedly on winning the Golden Smokey Bear Award!