Critical Steelhead Sanctuary Bill Moves Forward Through Senate

Critical Steelhead Sanctuary Bill Moves Forward Through Senate

Pacific Rivers worked with Senator Wyden to introduce a bill that will conserve approximately 100,000 acres of critical steelhead habitat in Douglas County, Oregon. This bill has now passed through the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Natural Resource Committee, and will now move forward to the Senate floor for a vote.

Senate Bill 1448 accomplishes two goals. First, it honors World War II veteran Frank Moore, a decorated soldier who fought on the shores of Normandy, earning the prestigious Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for his bravery. Upon returning home to Oregon, Frank dedicated his life to conserving and protecting his home watershed, the North Umpqua. Second, the bill permanently protects critical portions of Steamboat Creek, one of the last remaining cold water sanctuaries for spawning steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.

umpqua river
North Umpqua River Photo Credit: Shane Anderson

Frank Moore has been angling for over 80 years, and is a world renowned fly fisherman. Upon returning to Oregon after World War II, Frank and his wife Jeanne started the Steamboat Inn, which has served as a gathering place for fly fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. Frank has served on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, received numerous conservation awards including the National Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year, the Wild Steelhead Coalition Conservation Award, and has been inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. We thank Frank and Jeanne for their lifelong dedication to this important watershed, and for acting as tireless stewards to the sport and to Steamboat creek.

Frank Moore
Frank Moore Photo Credit: Shane Anderson

The Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary preserves over 50 miles of Steamboat Creek and the surrounding landscape, protecting clean drinking water, wildlife habitat, and creating scenic recreation space for fishing, hiking, and more. The North Umpqua watershed draws anglers from far and wide to cast for summer and fall steelhead, fall and spring Chinook, Coho, and sea-run trout. Additionally, black bears, river otters, bald eagles, spotted owls, elk and much more wildlife call this watershed home, making this Sanctuary crucial for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, and a healthy well functioning ecosystem.

We are grateful to Senators Wyden and Merkley for their support in drafting and introducing this important legislation that honors a decorated veteran for his military service and dedication to the North Umpqua watershed.

Our executive Director, John Kober was live on the radio with Jefferson Public Radio this morning to discuss the proposal. Listen to the interview here.

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