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Oregon

Celebrating 50 Years of Conservation: the 1990s

Mort Bishop served as Oregon's board chair in the mid-90s, leading the Forever Oregon campaign. Listen to a few words from Mort.

The 90s was the decade of expanding responsibilities and partnerships.

With our federal partners, we did biological surveys of vast public lands, resulting in the protection of more than 150 natural areas on federal lands.

Our purchase of the Middle Fork John Day River Preserve in 1990 was a catalyst for multiple partnerships. It launched our work with the Warm Springs and other tribes. I’ll never forget the day we turned over 1,760 acres in Logan Valley to the Burns Paiute tribe, restoring to them a beautiful portion of their historic homeland.

A remarkable visionary named Marie Louise Feldenheimer gave us our first $1 million contribution. She had worked for years to purchase forest land on Tillamook Head in memory of her brother. Marie Louise knew Lewis and Clark had seen this forest before it was logged. Her goal was to restore it to the way it was then. I remember her joyful tears and visionary commitment at the dedication in 1994. She said, “Now it will have a thousand years of rest.”

Mort Bishop, our chair in the mid-90s, led a major expansion of our portfolio of preserves through his leadership of the Forever Oregon campaign.

We protected some of Oregon’s most amazing and treasured places during this time, preserves at Kingston Prairie, Blind Slough Swamp, Sharon Fen and others.

Mort’s family roots are deep in Oregon’s history — today he carries on a family tradition as president of Pendleton Woolen Mills. He and his wife, Mary Lang, carry on a multi-generational commitment to conservation.

Let’s listen to what Mort has to say about that commitment.

In the 1990s, business leaders including Mort, Rocky Dixon, Bob Ridgley and Dan Heagerty worked with us to build our financial strength and stability. They wisely prepared us to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

That first challenge of the decade came right on schedule.

Next: the 2000s >> 

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