FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2021
Capt. Douglas Miner to receive national 2021 Smokey Bear Award
Capt. Douglas Miner of the N.H. Forest Protection Bureau has been named a Smokey Bear Award winner, bronze category, by the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.
Smokey Bear Awards are the highest honor given to individuals, teams and organizations for outstanding service with significant and sustained program impact in wildfire prevention. The bronze award is for impact within a state over at least a two-year period; silver and gold awards are for regional and national impact, respectively.
Although as many as 18 awards may be distributed annually, only five winners were named in 2021.
During Smokey Bear’s year-long 75th Birthday celebration in 2019, Miner coordinated dozens of events in New Hampshire, including visits by Smokey to public libraries and the N.H. Veterans Home, Smokey throwing out the first pitch at a New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ game, tethered rides in the official Smokey Bear balloon for attendees at New Hampshire’s official party for Smokey at Franconia Notch State Park and more.
An estimated 12,000 people attended 61 events, and posts on the Bureau’s Twitter account, @NHForestRangers, had 81,699 impressions during the campaign.
Miner was nominated for the award by Brad Simpkins of the U.S. Forest Service. While New Hampshire State Forester and director of the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, Simpkins observed Miner’s wildfire prevention work firsthand.
In nominating Miner, Simpkins noted that “Doug’s efforts, while above and beyond his normally busy ranger duties, are equal to or rival those that could be accomplished with a fulltime prevention coordinator.”
As was noted in a letter supporting Miner’s nomination, “Doug is a tremendous leader, [who] takes the time to educate people and will go out of his way to help them succeed. He leads with a humble nature that gives confidence and pride to those he guides, teaches and promotes.”
Another letter of support stated his impact simply: “He is such a credit to forest protection.”
Miner will receive a bronze statue of Smokey Bear, special lapel pin and certificate noting his accomplishment. He and the other winners have been invited to attend the National Association of State Foresters meeting in Pittsburgh, Penn., in September.
The New Hampshire Forest Protection Bureau, part of the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, is responsible for protecting 4.5 million acres of both public and private New Hampshire forestlands from the threat of wildland fire and crimes against the forest resource. This is accomplished by forest rangers, fire patrolmen, fire tower personnel and support staff as well as the forest fire wardens and deputy wardens serving in each community.
From 2016-2020, New Hampshire experienced an average of 119 wildfires, impacting 276 acres annually.
The N.H. Forest Protection Bureau is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Division of Forests and Lands, which protects and promotes the value provided by trees, forests and natural communities. For more information about the Division of Forests and Lands and the work of its Forest Protection Bureau, visit nh.gov/nhdfl or call 603-271-2214.