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Oregon congressmen reintroduce bill to honor Frank and Jeanne Moore

March 4, 2017 GMT

Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Rep. Peter DeFazio reintroduced legislation today to designate almost 100,000 acres of public land in the Steamboat Creek Watershed in the Umpqua National Forest as the “Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Special Management Area.”

In honor of the couple from Idleyd Park, this bill would create a sanctuary for wild steelhead, coho salmon and other native species, protecting over 50 miles of streams for spawning habitat. It would also preserve recreation opportunities, conserve ecological features of the river and ensure wildfire protection and management.

“It is an honor beyond belief,” Frank Moore said. “It would help the resources here within the area, and that will be a godsend.”

DeFazio originally introduced this legislation to the U.S. House of Representatives in September under the name “The Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary Act of 2016.” This session, Jeanne Moore’s name was added to the bill to honor her conservation work in the Umpqua National Forest.

Jeanne Moore, along with her friends Yvonne Knouse, Mary Powell and Alice Parker, saved the Limpy Rock area of the Umpqua National Forest after meticulously studying, surveying, and documenting the rare plants and flowers there. They brought their findings to the U.S. Forest Service and convinced the agency to declare its 1,800 acres as a Natural Research Area in 1975.

“We love the area and we tried to do our best to protect it, but also utilize the resources within the areas that we live in up here,” Frank Moore said.

He said natural resources can be utilized, if done right, without causing damage.

“Care should be taken because it’s a very special area for the aquatic resource, yes, but everything else too,” Moore said. “We’re so blessed to live here.”

For almost 20 years, Frank and Jeanne Moore owned the Steamboat Inn along the North Umpqua River.

An honored World War II veteran and renowned fly fisherman, Frank Moore served on the State of Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission from 1971 to 1974 and was recognized for his conservation work with the National Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year award, the Wild Steelhead Coalition Conservation Award and his 2010 induction into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.

Rusty Lininger, a veteran and fly fisherman of Roseburg, said he’d like to thank the senators and congressman for honoring the Moores by preserving natural resources.

“As a veteran, I fought to protect what makes our nation great, and for me, it’s our public lands and waters,” Lininger said.

Pat Lee and Jim VanLoan, co-owners of Steamboat Inn, said their business depends on these protections.

“People come from near and far to fish in our rivers, and the communities that surround this part of the Umpqua depend on its clean, healthy water for their livelihoods,” they said in a statement.

“When you think about the Umpqua River, you can’t help but think about Frank and Jeanne and their lifelong dedication to conserving our state’s fish habitats and rivers,” Wyden said.

“Oregon’s pristine and wild rivers, and the incredible recreation opportunities they provide, are one of the defining factors of our state’s amazing quality of life—as Frank and Jeanne Moore have recognized and fought for over so many decades,” Merkley added.

DeFazio said it is an honor to pay tribute to the Moore’s efforts.

“This incredible area is a critical steelhead spawning area and wildlife habitat, as well as one of the most ecologically important areas in the Pacific Northwest,” he said. “The designation of this natural space as a sanctuary will remind generations to come of the Moores’ vital work safeguarding Oregon’s incredible wild areas.”