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NOHVCC

OHV ACTIVISTS JOIN FORCES TO REMOVE MISLEADING SMOKEY BEAR ATV PSA
Ad pulled after many ATV and motorized access stakeholders alerted the agencies that the ad was inaccurate and was sending the wrong message to recreational trail users

The Ad Council, Forest Service, and National Association of State Foresters announced they are pulling the Smokey Bear "ATV" Public Service Announcement (PSA). In a July 28 updated email to the ATV community, the Office of the Chief of the Forest Service stated they have asked all media outlets to discontinue the airing of the ad.

 The PSA was pulled after many ATV and motorized access stakeholders alerted the agencies that the ad was offensive and was sending the wrong message to the recreating public. This action was prompted by requests from many responsible motorized recreation interests to pull or modify the ad to make the message more relevant and accurate.

"Apparently what happened was the Ad Council and the Forest Service did not consult the right people before making this ad," said Russ Ehnes, the Executive Director of the National OHV Conservation Council (NOHVCC). "We never perceived the PSA as an intentional potshot at motorized trail users, but rather the result of a misunderstanding during its production process."

The ad shows Smokey (who magically transforms into a girl) on a mountain bike approaching a couple of ATV riders unloading their vehicles, suggesting they pack up and go home to eliminate the chance that their machines may start a forest fire.

"The PSA erroneously makes it appear that all OHVs should just forget about riding on any trails in the summer months, when in fact it is perfectly legal, and safe from a fire safety standpoint, for OHV riders to continue their recreational activities during dry periods as long as they follow the laws requiring spark arrestors on all machines and staying on the trail," said Ehnes. "We feel that those are the messages that should have been conveyed in the PSA in the first place."

Don Amador from the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) "thanks the agencies for listening to our collective concerns about this ad and for taking the responsible course of action by canceling the campaign. It is our hope the Ad Council and Forest Service consult with their trail recreation experts and the OHV community before launching another motorized recreation ad."

About NOHVCC
The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, as a national body of OHV recreation enthusiasts, develops and provides a wide spectrum of programs, materials and information, or "tools", to individuals, clubs, associations and agencies in order to further a positive future for responsible OHV recreation.


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