Oregonians applaud House introduction of Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary Bill by Rep. Peter DeFazio.
Portland, Ore—Today, Congressman Peter DeFazio introduced a bill that would protect roughly 100,000 acres in Douglas County, Oregon. The legislation was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley in the Senate in May, 2015, and passed out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in July, 2016.
The Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary Act (H.R. 6129) would permanently safeguard a tributary of the North Umpqua River that contains some of the best wild steelhead spawning areas in the Pacific Northwest. Named in honor of Frank Moore, a World War II veteran and a legendary steward of the North Umpqua River, the act would protect drinking water, critical wildlife habitat, and cultural resources in the Steamboat Creek watershed, identified as one of the most important ecological areas in the Pacific Northwest. The area provides more than 50 miles of high-quality river and stream habitat for summer and winter steelhead, Chinook and coho salmon, rainbow trout, and other native species.
As a World War II veteran, Frank Moore landed on the beaches of Normandy. Upon returning home, Moore found that fishing in the North Umpqua and spending time in the great outdoors helped him cope with the tragedies of the war. He established the Steamboat Inn in the North Umpqua watershed and guided trips down the river. He later started the Steamboaters, a group dedicated to safeguarding the river.
“As salmon and steelhead face more and more challenges in the future, they are going to need strong, bold leadership from Oregon’s elected officials,” stated Sara LaBorde, Executive Vice President of Wild Salmon Center. “Congressman DeFazio has shown that sort of visionary leadership today and we commend him for that.”
From the clean water, to the wild salmon and steelhead trout that make their home in the river, to historic and cultural sites along the riverbanks, this area boasts a raw beauty that draws visitors from near and far. In addition to the multitude of fisheries, the area is also habitat for black bears and river otters, bald eagles and northern spotted owls, Roosevelt elk and grouse. Historically, the combination of large salmon and steelhead runs and majestic scenery has attracted anglers from all over the world, but the area is also valued for its rugged recreational hiking and backcountry offerings.
Passing the Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary Act would boost the local economy. Visitors from across the country and around the globe come to explore and enjoy the area’s outstanding fishing opportunities. The Outdoor Industry Association found that outdoor recreation in Oregon generates $12.8 billion in consumer spending, 141,000 jobs, $4 billion in wages and salaries and $955 million in state and local tax revenue.
The Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary Act now awaits a hearing in the House Committee on Natural Resources. Oregonians are urging Congress to pass this important measure before the end of 2016.
Oakley Brooks, 503-307-3927, [email protected]
Hilary Shohoney, 503-228-3555 X 207, [email protected]
To access B-Roll of the area, please visit: http://pacificrivers.org/frank-moore-wild-steelhead-sanctuary-b-roll/