Archives On The Air 103: Smokye Mouse—Craig Chandler Papers

Jan 30, 2019

Craig Chandler worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the 1970s. He was Director of Forest Fire & Atmospheric Research. He was known for his sense of humor around the office.

Chandler and his coworkers created Smokye Mouse as a parody of Smokey Bear. They wrote a fake history of Smokye Mouse. The history lampoons government bureaucracy and the self-seriousness of the Smokey Bear campaign.

The history is made up of fake letters, press releases and memos.

One made-up press release reads, "The original Smokye, rescued from a burning filling cabinet as a cub in February 1977, passed away on November 17. The present Smokye was selected from hundreds of contenders after a talent search that explored the garbage dumps of virtually every state in the union."

Craig Chandler's manuscript about Smokye Mouse is available at UW's American Heritage Center.