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As Wildfire Risk Increases, New PSAs Urge Americans to Recreate Safely Outdoors

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Washington, D.C. (May 21, 2020) – The USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council today announced a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign to help Americans recreate safely and responsibly outdoors. The new PSAs include wildfire prevention and safe recreation tips for families and individuals to keep in mind while enjoying public lands or their own backyards.

“We want to welcome people back to their public lands, and we want it to be a safe experience for everyone,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “This partnership with the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council will help educate millions of Americans on simple steps they can take to prevent human-caused wildfires and enjoy the peace and solace while recreating outdoors.”

The new PSAs will encourage viewers to visit BeOutdoorSafe.org for additional safe recreation resources, including tips to consider before taking a trip outside – like checking for park and trail closures, packing soap or hand sanitizer and confirming that the destination park or trail offers enough space for social distancing. BeOutdoorSafe.org also highlights the ways we can all help prevent wildfires while recreating, including by following fire restrictions, properly extinguishing campfires and avoiding parking on tall, dry grass – even if the parking lot is full.

Keep Our Safe Places Safe | Safe Recreation | Ad Council

“We know that the great outdoors can do wonders for our physical and mental health, so it’s not surprising that families across the country are spending time outside during these challenging times,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer at the Ad Council. “With so many issues weighing on peoples’ minds right now, we can’t forget this important message: we all have an important role to play when it comes to keeping our safe places safe. We need to work together to act responsibly when spending time outside and continue to do our part to help prevent wildfires.”

“The single best thing any outdoor recreator can do for their neighbors today is to enjoy the outdoors responsibly,” said Jay Farrell, Executive Director of the National Association of State Foresters. “Just one escaped ember from a campfire can start a wildfire. A single spark from dragging chains on pavement can too. BeOutdoorSafe.org provides us with tools we can use to keep our families and friends safe this summer – let’s put them to work.”

The new safe recreation PSAs, created by production studio BGSTR, will run nationwide in time and space donated by the media. Creative assets will be available for broadcast TV, online video, out of home and social media. This new campaign is an extension of the USDA Forest Service, National Association of State Foresters and Ad Council’s ongoing partnership to prevent human-caused, unwanted wildfires and protect our nation’s public lands. To learn more about recreating responsibly outdoors, visit BeOutdoorSafe.org.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council has a long history of creating life-saving public service communications in times of national crisis, starting in the organization's earliest days during World War II to September 11th and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Its deep relationships with media outlets, the creative community, issue experts and government leaders make the organization uniquely poised to quickly distribute life-saving information to millions of Americans.

The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation's most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.

The Ad Council's innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

U.S.D.A. Forest Service

The Forest Service is the agency responsible for overseeing the use of Smokey Bear in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands for the American Public. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.

National Association of State Foresters

On behalf of the nation’s 59 state and territorial foresters, NASF influences forest policy and leads efforts to optimize the social, economic, and environmental benefits of forests and trees. State foresters, and the forestry agencies they lead, are committed to the continued delivery of Smokey Bear’s message of personal responsibility and fire safety. Learn more at www.stateforesters.org.

Media Contact

Leah Fagen
Ad Council
lfagen@adcouncil.org
(212) 984-1925