U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, remembered the late Frank Moore and his widow Jeanne Moore in testimony on the U.S. Senate floor Thursday.
Wyden spoke about the creation of the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary and about the pair’s exceptional marriage.
Moore, a WWII veteran and champion of the North Umpqua River, insisted that the sanctuary be named for his wife as well as himself.
He called her his treasure, saying after their home was destroyed in the Archie Creek Fire that he had his treasure with him.
“Virtually every time I saw this wonderful couple, they were holding hands. Just said it all,” he said.
When he met with them at their daughter’s home after that fire, he said, Frank Moore came striding out onto the porch with a wonderful smile and a “bone-crushing handshake and one joke after another with a twinkle in his eyes.”
Wyden called Moore a natural resources hero and a war hero who stormed Utah Beach at Normandy on D-Day and fought at the Battle of the Bulge.
He said Moore will always be remembered as a legendary fly fisherman who channeled his love of the North Umpqua River into protecting and preserving an extraordinary national treasure.
It’s been said in fishing circles that most of the world is covered by water and a fisherman’s job is to pick out the best parts, he said.
“My friend Frank picked out consistently the best parts of his extraordinary life, and all of us as Oregonians are better off for his good judgments,” he said.
Frank and Jeanne Moore bought the Steamboat Inn and turned it into “an unmatched recreation experience” for generations of visitors to the North Umpqua River, he said.
Moore was so quintessentially Oregon that he could call the late Oregon Gov. Tom McCall a fishing buddy, he said.
He was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2010 and played a key role in the creation of the Oregon Forest Practices Act.
Wyden said during a visit to Roseburg when he was chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, they conceived the idea of protecting 100,000 acres of public land in the Steamboat Creek watershed for steelhead preservation.
Wyden said he wanted to name the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary after both of them.
But he was told it wasn’t traditional to name a natural treasure after two people.
Frank Moore insisted on both names.
“He said Ron I love you to pieces, but this bill’s got to be named for both of us because we’ve been partners in life,” he said.
So Wyden pushed it through with both names.
Wyden said Moore will never be forgotten.
“Frank is always going to be Oregon’s treasure,” he said.