donates new ‘Smokey Bear’ themed shelter to park rangers and firefighters

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LINCOLN COUNTY, N.M. – created the  “Smokey Bear Ranger District House” this year and donated the sustainable and supplemental home to park rangers, and firefighters to use while working on the job.

“I think it’s a, you know, a great opportunity to not only increase capacity for our Forest Service employees who are doing their job for our natural resources, and to save our natural resources, but also to increase awareness and education around sustainable recreation on the national forest,” said Ivan Knudsen, Lincoln National Forest spokesperson.

The donation comes after the treacherous wildfire season that affected a lot of the country this last year, especially in New Mexico.  For example, the McBride Fire that hit the Lincoln National Forest earlier this spring – burning over 6,000 acres of land.

The Smokey Bear theme hits close to home for those in the Lincoln National Forest and you might know why if you’re familiar with his history.

“The Smokey Bear Ranger District is of course named after Smokey Bear, which, you know, over 75 years ago, was rescued from the Lincoln National Forest,” said Knudsen. 

The house opened up at the beginning of November with an inaugural one-time stay for anyone who was able to grab the booking. Costing just $19.50 a night in honor of the year the real Smokey Bear was rescued from this very forest. Since then, the house has been open exclusively to firefighters and park rangers.

Not only does this give back to those who fight to keep the forest safe here in the state, but this house embodies an important and timeless theme from the bear himself.

“Of course, his message of fire safety and prevention is just as important today as it was over 75 years ago,” said Knudsen.