Johnny Horizon, a strong-jawed and handsome cartoon
, was the U.S. Department of the Interior
’s version of Smoky Bear
and Woodsy Owl
(they are U.S. Department of Agriculture and Forestry Service).
Johnny wore a broad-brimmed green Ranger hat and had a more John Denver vibe... he wasn’t a stuffed animal meant to cute the forest up. Instead, he was an overgrown Boy Scout... serious and thoughtful. Conscientious outdoorspeople took the Johnny Horizon Outdoor Pledge:
As a visitor to the Public Lands, I pledge to:
Keep the land clean and free of litter
Respect and treat the land as my own
Leave gates and fences as I find them
Obey state game and fish laws
Be careful with fire
US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
Alas, the rugged guardian of the outdoors didn’t catch on like the fuzzy bear and inquisitive owl. The handsome protector of prairie and woodlands is difficult to come across nowadays. The occasional independent activist now posts the pledge, but the Department of the Interior’s webpage bears no sign of him.