League mourns passing of redwoods champion Gordon Moore

Moore helped protect many of California’s most special places

Gordon Moore
Photo of Gordon Moore in 2008 from the collection of The Henry Ford. Photographer, Michelle Andonian.

Save the Redwoods League was among many organizations this past week mourning the passing of Gordon Moore. While most examined the key role he played in the early evolution of the tech industry through the scientific applications that led to co-founding Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, he and his wife Betty have been deeply committed to philanthropic support of vital conservation projects in California and around the world.  

The protection of California’s redwood legacy was a significant part of the Moores conservation vision, and they gave generously to the League’s efforts to protect the redwood forest. Gordon made his first donation to the League in 1971—a check for $50—and the couple continued with individual gifts through the Moore Family Foundation, and then the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which they founded in 2000. The Moores would eventually donate upwards of $10 million to the League for land acquisitions, research, and conservation planning.  

The foundation’s most recent gifts supported the acquisition of Cascade Creek in 2019 and the Harold Richardson Redwoods Reserve in 2017, helping to protect two of the largest remaining stands of unprotected old growth coast redwood forest. In keeping with Moore’s interest in innovation, they made critical investments in the League’s science and conservation planning tools, and were early supporters of the League’s Redwood and Climate Change Initiative.  

In 2015, Gordon and Betty wrote a Statement of Founders’ Intent to capture and immortalize their hopes and expectations for their Foundation. “Betty and I established the Foundation because we believe it can make a significant and positive impact in the world,” Gordon wrote. “We want the Foundation to tackle large, important issues at a scale where it can achieve significant and measurable impacts.” 

“Their support for redwood conservation and restoration has been a perfect manifestation of that mantra,” said Sam Hodder, League president and CEO.  “Large scale conservation and restoration of California’s redwood forests is a critical ingredient in a healthy, livable California in an era of climate change, and the Moore family have provided the inspiration – and investment – to advance that important work. The impact Gordon Moore has had on what we as Californians and beyond hold dear is extraordinary. 

“Everyone at the League sends our condolences to the Moore Family and the entire circle of friends and colleagues who have worked tirelessly over the years to fulfill his vision to protect California’s spectacular natural landscapes,” Hodder continued. “In his writings, Gordon spoke of returning many years from now to see how his conservation investments turned out, and I think he would be pleased to see the great redwood forests that he helped protect, thriving, sending his legacy into the future.” 

Learn more about Moore’s legacy on the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation website. 

About the author

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty so these wonders of the natural world flourish.

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