SMOKEY BEAR AND THE GREAT WILDERNESS
Selected Essays and Memoirs
By Elliott S. Barker
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In 1950, after a fire raged through an area in south-central New Mexico, a small bear cub was found clinging to a pine tree. The cub had suffered severe burns, and the fire fighters who rescued him were amazed that he could have survived such intense heat. So tiny he fit into a shoe box, the cub was taken to a veterinarian in Santa Fe and responded well to treatment. In time, fully recovered, he became a popular character in schools and social functions.
Through the effort of Elliott S. Barker and others, the Bear was named Smokey and in time became a famous national symbol for forest fire prevention and wildlife conservation, eventually contributing to an increased awareness of the need for these measures.
Also included in this book are stories about the author’s experiences as Forest Supervisor, State Game Warden, and as Manager and Predator Warden for Vermejo Park in New Mexico. J. Frank Dobie said: “Barker writes exactly as he talks, and his talk is genuine. He talks of deer, elk, grizzlies, and mountain lions, and of people—women as well as men—who belong to the land.” Barker was of pioneer stock, his parents having arrived in Sapello, New Mexico in a covered wagon and were among the early settlers of the Northern New Mexico wilderness. He was the author of many books.
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