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Yavapai-Apache Nation meets England

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English forest connection to US Forest Service

By Don Decker, YAN News

English artist-environmentalist visits Yavapai-Apache Nation and the southwest.

In southern England near the city of Southampton, a seaport town of 200,000, seventy miles south of London, there is a large land reserve set aside for public land use.  New buildings are prohibited from being built on these lands encompassing o219 square miles. Called the ‘New Forest National Park’, the largest remaining unenclosed heath land in England situated next to Blackfield, a town the size of Williams, Arizona.  Similar to BL&M lands in America, this land set aside is considered a national park in England.

Deer, donkeys, ponies and other wild life such as badgers, rabbits, foxes and smaller mammals roam the New Forest. The problem is there are roads criss-crossing the lands creating safety hazards for animals and auto passengers.

Annie Freestone, who resides near the New Forest in south England is visiting the US Forest lands in Coconino National Forest to see the similarities in how the land-use is regulated. One of the concerns Ms. Freestone has are the large fatalities of horses in the New Forest. She has designed several versions of the posters that  has caught the attention of forest service managers in England as well as US Forest Service lands in the Sedona office.

The fact that the  current posters about the New Forest (in England) are “uninspiring, boring, and not catchy enough”, the new designs for New Forest will be a breath of fresh air according to Ms. Freestone.

With the ‘Smokey Bear’ safety campaign as an example, Ms. Freestone said that the Smokey Bear concept is an ideal model to use to convey to the English populace of proper management of forest service lands and the animals that live there.

“I think the Smokey Bear is a wholesome design, it’s iconic, happy with the ranger’s hat on and family oriented”, said Ms. Freestone.  “Smokey Bear has been around in the 1950s and it’s easily recognizable,” she added. And thanks to the Smokey Bear idea and concept, the New Forest will now be acquiring a new mascot named ‘Tony the Pony’, ‘Dorothy the Donkey’ and ‘Clara the cow’.

Already, some of the New Forest characters invented by Ms. Freestone have been being placed on coffee mugs and posters as a promotional items for the New Forest management program. Hopefully, the marketing scheme by Ms. Freestone’s art work and forest campaign will be accepted by the New Forest Park Authority to adopt Ms. Freestone’s New Forest animal safety campaign.

“I want these new characters to stand out,” she said.

Ms. Freestone and her family have visited the Yavapai-Apache Nation on numerous occasions in past years. Ms. Freestone remembers her visit with the late David Sine, Yavapai-Apache Artist, at a roadside stand next to what is now the new Nation’s culture center. She also recalled the horse-riding tours conducted by tribal member David Lewis who is now the coordinator of the Yavapai-Apache Nation Economic Development Office.

Courtesy photo.





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