P&M History with Smokey Bear Signs
In 1980 I was part owner of a sign company in Ojo Caliente, NM called Ojo Caliente Craftsman. We were working on an SBA (8a) contract with Region Three of the US Forest Service. We worked with Paul Weaver, the Region Three road engineer, on our federal contracts. Paul Weaver added a new design of Smokey Bear fire danger rating sign for our Region Three contract.
When our Forest Service national committee approved the US Forest Service national specification (EM-7100) our Smokey Bear fire danger rating sign became part of the national specification for the US Forest Service. All through the 1980’s our company would manufacture the signs, but the image of Smokey Bear had to be purchased from the Federal Prison Industries. Region Three would buy the image from them and give it to our company and we would apply it to the substrate.
In 1991 I started, with my sister Maybel Ocana, our own business P&M Signs, Inc. in Mountainair, NM and we got a national GSA contract to manufacture signs for all federal agencies. In Region Three I started working with John Barksdale, the new engineer for road’s US Forest Service. John Barksdale had complaints from the Forest Service all over the country because the vinyl Smokey Bear images would deteriorate in about three years because of the UV exposure on the vinyl. So Region three asked the Smokey Bear licensing committee if our company, P&M Signs, Inc., could get a license to print Smokey Bear on reflective sheeting using transparent inks so that Smokey Bear could be viewed both day and night. The signs then would last ten to fifteen years out on the forests’ roads. John Barksdale then got a letter from the Washington office supporting our application and that is when P&M Signs, Inc. got approved (to print Smokey Bears on reflective sheeting).
P&M Signs, Inc. can now offer over 100 Smokey Bear long-lasting images on reflective sheeting to all federal agencies through our GSA contract.