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To whoever stole Smokey

DAVE ORR

Beech Creek

To the individual or individuals who stole Smokey from the fire danger warning sign located on private property at Martin’s Grove, Beech Creek, on the weekend of Sept. 7.

You not only stole from a property owner, but from the public, who enjoyed seeing Smokey’s appearance when they journey up the Monument-Orviston Road or a trip to BC mountain. Many children enjoyed seeing Smokey and would get their picture taken with him. Smokey also made people’s day by seeing that friendly bear standing there and knowing what he represents. You also stole from the taxpayers of this Commonwealth, costing them money because that’s who funds these projects. So, in reality, you actually stole from yourself.

I myself take this personally as a local Forest Fire Warden and resident who requested this sign to be erected at its location. I worked with the Sproul Fire Forester and officials to justify the location as being a high-volume traveled location and thought it would be secure on private property.

I along with forestry employees erected this sign and I volunteered to be the one who monitors the fire danger warning meter. I, too, enjoyed Smokey’s presence at the sign location, knowing he was welcomed at this location by the locals, as well as those who travel here to camps, ATV trails, or just passing through.

Smokey was placed there to warn us of the potential fire danger and to be careful that “only you can prevent forest fires.” You may think you’ve gotten away with taking Smokey, for whatever reason … perhaps to fill him with bullet holes, stand him in a corner of a room, put him where you thought he should be, in the woods or maybe to start your bonfire as a sacrifice for your booze party.

I don’t know and really don’t care.All I know is, you took something from our community.

Shame on you!

If you wanted a Smokey bad enough to display you probably could have purchased one, but we sooner think you wanted him for destructive purposes.

To the local folks, I feel it is my responsibility to write this letter because there won’t be a police report, as PSP feels even though Smokey was taken off of private property, he was actually forestry property and forestry has law officers. Forestry officials understand that their authority doesn’t allow them to pursue the matter due to not being on state forest ground. So there apparently is no investigation and I don’t know if there are any leads. I suppose if it is found, one of the law enforcement officers will be involved.

If the guilty party is reading this, I hope you would take heart and return Smokey.

We’ve all done stupid things and I wouldn’t question or care who it was, just bring it back. If you destroyed Smokey I hope this letter makes you feel uneasy about yourself and guilty.

But know that you can right this wrong. Your next mischievous act may not be able to be rectified.

As I said, I don’t care who you are or what you did with Smokey, but I can help you make it right to ease your guilty feeling. Please contact me at 570-295-1630, or by email to deorr4@gmail.com.

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