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Smokey Bear, 65 years later

July 28, 2009

Re "Smokey still has his fire lines," Column One, July 24

Though I too would like to celebrate Smokey Bear's 65th birthday, I must concur with the view that suppression policies set in motion during World War II have had negative impacts on the overgrowth of many forests and the subsequent devastating fires.

I went to the Angeles National Forest in high school, when Smokey was young, and we revered him and his message. When I became a professor of geography (including conservation), I took a different approach to fire suppression. I might point out that contradictions in conservation exist in other areas: the mixed blessing of dams, nuclear energy and hazardous waste.

Ecology has come of age.

Imre Sutton



That's rich -- American icon Smokey Bear trinkets outsourced to China.

John Wood


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