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Letters to the Editor June 5-12 

A reader voices her concerns over white privilege

@nicholastharpe reminds us that the Cascade Lakes Highway is open, finally; here's Devil's Lake. Tag @sourceweekly for a chance to show up here in Lightmeter.
  • @nicholastharpe reminds us that the Cascade Lakes Highway is open, finally; here's Devil's Lake. Tag @sourceweekly for a chance to show up here in Lightmeter.

The Steamboat Watershed

In 1944, a young soldier named Frank Moore landed on Utah beach in Normandy. He fought his way across France to Paris, and then on to Luxembourg. He fought for his country, and to free Europe of the scourge of tyranny, all the while desperate to return home to his young wife Jeanne.

One could say that he served his country well and did his part for what he loved. But Frank wasn't done yet. Settling along the banks of the North Umpqua river, the Moores made protecting the fragile watershed of Steamboat Creek their life's work.

The North Umpqua is a shimmering ribbon that cuts through the emerald mountains of western Oregon. Though stunningly beautiful, it's true treasure lies beneath the water's surface. Each summer, wild steelhead migrate up the main river and spawn in the headwaters of Steamboat Creek. It's one of the last best spawning habitats in the northwest and the reason anglers from around the world come to the river and breathe life into the area's rural economy. Without steelhead the North Umpqua is just another scenic drive.

While still carrying the emotional scars of war, Frank fought to change a culture that valued timber over fish. He lobbied lawmakers and anyone else who would listen to show them the fragility of the watershed. Over the years, he built a reputation that expanded far beyond the banks of the North Umpqua. He served on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, was named Conservationist of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation and in 2010 was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, among other honors. Jeanne taught herself botany and helped catalogue the rare plants of the Umpqua National Forest, succeeding in having a portion of it designated as a Research Natural Area.

Yet despite a lifetime of effort, the Steamboat watershed still remains largely unprotected.

Three of Oregon's lawmakers are trying to change that. Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, and Congressman Peter Defazio have reintroduced a bill that will protect over 100,000 acres of the Steamboat Creek watershed. The Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary bill honors the work and dedication of these two extraordinary people. But more importantly, it ensures that this wild fishery lives on after the Moores are gone.

Today Frank and Jeanne are in their nineties, and still live in the same house in the forest above the river. They do their own cooking, shopping, and chop their own firewood. Long ago they did their part for their country. It's time their country did its part for them.

Thank you Senators Wyden and Merkley, and Congressman Defazio for recognizing the value of this precious piece of Oregon, and for honoring the couple who, through love, sacrifice, and hard work made the world, their country, and their little slice of home a better place to live.

— Edward Putnam

In Response to, Tower Tussle (6/7)

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Some good points have been made. However, if the research is "still out" according to arguments from both sides the common sense thing to do would be to exercise caution and limit exposure to these young developing kiddos. Of course separating money from a church/religion is like trying to fit a camel thru the eye of a needle. Good luck, do the right thing and Give those kids a break. — Mark O., via Bendsource.com


In Response to, Putting Back the River (6/7)

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Reducing waste will help but not solve the variable flows in the upper Deschutes as long as it's used as a delivery canal for irrigation. A better solution would be to pipe/canal the water directly from the reservoirs to the canals separate from the river. The Upper Deschutes would run with a more consistent flow and agriculture would get the water.

— Geoff Reynolds, via Bendsource.com





In Response to, The White People Problems Usually Discussed in the Letters to the Editor

I would like to remind everyone that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents are violating constitutional rights and separating families right here in central Oregon. On May 15, a man was taken by ICE leaving two children without their father and a pregnant woman struggling to take care of her family.

There was no reporting of it and so we, Central Oregonians, are unaware that this is happening to our neighbors. Maybe The Source didn't cover it because they already did a story on immigration last October... but the truth is that people of color are marginalized and underrepresented in our community. We need to stop and think about the 10 percent of non-whites in Central Oregon instead of spending precious column and opinion space on the people that will come to see the eclipse, on landlords that let junkies into their property or whether we should try the new berry beer or go see the famous band this summer.

Since the smoke signals column is tanking (we can see that ideas are running low and the last girlfriend piece used as a filler was just that a poor filler) maybe The Source can lead on giving a voice to the voiceless by creating a column that addresses the issues and complexities of racial minorities in a mostly white conservative area. I hope y'all have the vision and bravery to go where no other publication in these parts has gone before. Rise!

— Joanne Mina

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