Minister Loewen and members of the Alberta Wildfire team celebrate Bertie Beaver’s 65th birthday. Alberta government photo
Nicholas L. M. Allen
Sept 20, 2023
Alberta Wildfire mascot Bertie Beaver celebrates their 65th birthday.
Minister of Forestry and Parks Todd Loewen spoke about Bertie Beaver’s 65th birthday and National Forest Week (NFW) at the event held at 3 p.m. in Hangar 2 at Red Deer Regional Airport.
“Bertie has been a valued member of the wildfire prevention team since 1958, when he was hand drawn and gifted to us by Walt Disney himself as a thank you for allowing Disney to film wildlife documentaries in the Kananaskis region. Today we are celebrating Bertie’s 65th birthday,” said Loewen.
Throughout Bernie’s years of service, he has marched in community parades and visited schools, hugging and high-fiving adults and children. Loewen said Bertie has reached an age where many would consider retiring, he is “not even close” to hanging up his hat and thought it fitting for Bertie’s birthday celebration to fall during NFW.
Each year NFW is celebrated across Canada by many individuals and diverse governmental and non-governmental organizations explains the Canada Institute of Forestry on their website. During NFW, Canadians are invited to learn more about Canada’s forest heritage and raise awareness.
“I can’t imagine a better time to recognize the important legacy of one of our province’s longest serving wildfire prevention officers,” said Loewen.
During this year’s NFW, Alberta’s government encourages everyone to learn about the important role forests play in the province’s economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being.
“We are committed to a responsible and sustainable forest management strategy and harvesting our forest is one of the ways that we protect our forests and communities from catastrophic wildfire that ensures that current and future generations of Albertans are able to experience all the benefits of our forested lands provide,” said Loewen.
Bernie wasn’t the only member of the Alberta Wildfire team Loewen celebrated at the birthday celebration.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication shown by everyone at Alberta Wildfire. Your service, especially during this very challenging wildfire season service season, has been exemplary and we are grateful for everything you do to keep our communities and our forests safe,” said Loewen.
He spoke in front of a CL-215T aircraft, an air tanker which helps limit the spread of wildfires, buying firefighters time on the ground. Alberta has been using this plane for over 35 years.
“To mark Bertie Beavers milestone birthday, we’ve made him our eye in the sky by putting his picture on the tail section. Watch for Bernie across Alberta and help celebrate this milestone by doing your part to prevent wildfires,” added Loewen.
Visit alberta.ca for a statement from Minister Loewen on Bertie Beaver’s birthday and National Forest Week.