U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, stopped by the North Forty Beer Company Thursday to honor Frank and Jeanne Moore.
DeFazio and the Moores were at the brewery to celebrate new protections for the North Umpqua watershed that the Moores believe could make the difference for the survival of wild steelhead on that river. The bill, which sets aside almost 100,000 acres of land as the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Management Area, was passed as part of a collection of bills known as the public lands package that won broad bipartisan support and was signed into law by the president this month. DeFazio introduced the bill protecting the steelhead management area in the House.
The North Umpqua is world-renowned for its fishing, and no one knows that better than Frank Moore, a World War II veteran and member of the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame. Both Moores have worked to protect the area for decades.
DeFazio is one of many famous people to have fished the river with Frank Moore. On Thursday, he presented Moore with a signed copy of the bill and pictures from their fishing trip on the river last year. DeFazio joked that he learned a lot but didn’t catch anything that day.
The Moores said the important thing is the new protections for the salmonids, not the recognition for themselves.
Frank Moore said it would have taken just one really bad year to wipe out the salmonids in his beloved river stretch.
“I just hope with the little bit of protection it will get now, it won’t come to that,” he said. “The way they were going for a while up there, they would just rape, pillage and burn. And finally, they’ve got a little bit of common sense. We can get the timber, but we have to be a little more careful and they weren’t for a while. They weren’t for a while.”
Jeanne Moore said she hopes the fish will now have a chance.
“I’m just glad that strip of land is being cared for the way it should be. That makes you feel really good that our name’s on it, that’s very nice, but the main thing is the care it’s going to get,” she said.
DeFazio said Frank Moore is an “extraordinary person.”
“I’m privileged to know him and I am really, really happy to be able to honor him and to provide protection in perpetuity for I think the greatest salmon and steelhead river in the world right here in the Umpqua, and protecting the upper reaches of Steamboat and the sanctuary there is absolutely critical.
As the climate warms, there’s still going to be a place the fish can go,” DeFazio said.
He said World War II veterans like Frank Moore are treasures, and he was thrilled to be able to get this done during Moore’s lifetime.