Wildlife refuge being renamed in honor of the late Billy Frank Jr.

Billy Frank Jr., 1931-2014. Photo from Facebook

The legacy of the late treaty rights activist Billy Frank Jr. lives on with the renaming of a wildlife refuge in Washington.

H.R.2270, the Billy Frank Jr. Tell Your Story Act, became law in December 2015. It designates the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge as the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

The new law also establishes the Medicine Creek Treaty National Historic Site to mark the signing of the 1854 Treaty of Medicine Creek. Frank started fighting for the treaty at a young age -- his first arrest came when he was only 14 -- and he continued those efforts up until his passing in May 2014.

"Billy was arrested more than 50 times in his fight to protect tribal fishing rights and save the salmon that had fed his family for generations. He was spat on, shot at, chased and clubbed and cast as an outlaw," President Barack Obama said in presenting the Medal of Freedom posthumously to Frank in November 2015.

"But Billy kept fighting. Because he knew he was right. And in 1974, a federal judge agreed, honoring the promises made to Northwest tribes more than a century before," Obama added.

The refuge's new name will be celebrated on Tuesday morning in Washington. According to a media advisory, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will be joined by leaders of the Nisqually Tribe, of which Frank was a member, and lawmakers who were instrumental in the passage of the Billy Frank Jr. Tell Your Story Act.

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