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Woodsy Owl

November 14, 2013 by  

Woodsy Owl, Woodsy Owl is an owl icon for the United States Forest Service most famous for the motto “Give a hoot – don’t pollute!”. His current motto is “Lend a hand – care for the land!” Woodsy’s target audience are children five to eight years old, and he was designed to be seen as a mentor to children, providing them with information and advice to help them appreciate nature. Harold Bell of Western Publishing (and producer of Smokey Bear public service announcements), along with Glen Kovar and Chuck Williams, originally created the mascot in 1970 as part of a United States Forest Service campaign to raise awareness of protecting the environment.

Woodsy’s slogan was officially introduced on September 15, 1971 by Secretary of Agriculture Clifford Hardin. The first Woodsy Owl public service spot was created by US Forest ranger Chuck Williams, who was the Forest Service’s technical consultant for the Lassie TV show which featured a Forest Service ranger and his family. In 1974, the U.S. Congress passed the Woodsy Owl Act (Public Law 93-318) to protect the image of the character.

Despite the documented history of Woodsy Owl’s creation, various rival claims to his parentage have emerged over the years. Several individuals have stated that they invented Woodsy Owl as children as part of a nationwide poster contest. The Forest History Society has said that no evidence of such has been provided.

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