Standing on the crest of Wallowa Lake’s East Moraine, it’s remarkable to think that this geologic wonder has endured since the last ice age, some 300,000 years ago. Few places in Oregon provide such an extraordinary vista, where one can look back in time and imagine the past while seeing the present. Now, thanks to Bruce and Mary Lou Ham and their family, 52 acres of this landscape are forever protected so that a future traveler might experience the same awe and wonder.
As a memorial to their mother, three brothers have donated a piece of family history to Wallowa Land Trust. Thanks to the generosity of Fred, Steve and Frank Kimball, a stretch of Wallowa Lake shoreline will remain in its natural state in perpetuity.
Fred Kimball says that in the early 1950s his father received the lakeside property as payment for legal fees. The property reached from the Wallowa Lake Marina at the south end of the lake to Trouthaven, a guesthouse on the lake’s west shore. According to Fred, “He took 15 acres and sold the remaining to Clyde Harris of Harris Pine Mills.”
Here in Wallowa County we know the value of Wallowa Lake. It’s the place we take our visitors even if the weather is abysmal. We boat, swim and picnic on its bank; this magnificent feature in our backyard is a part of our lifestyle, like eating local beef and salad greens.
Anglers are so nutty they will fish the lake in the dead of winter and a few daring souls celebrate the new year with the shortest swim known to man - the Wallowa Lake polar bear plunge.
Named in memory of a well-loved dog (Lola), the Lola-Hasslacher Conservation Easement was protected in February of 2014. Landowners Jacob Hasslacher and Chris Antemann completed a project with Wallowa Land Trust that conserves 40 acres of mature ponderosa pine and mixed conifer woodlands on the back (east) side of the east moraine of Wallowa Lake. This land will now remain forever undeveloped and protected for wildlife habitat and sustainable timber harvesting and grazing.
Wallowa Land Trust acquired a conservation easement on 197 acres of the Wolfe Farm in February 2011. This easement encompasses 161 acres of prime farmground and 36 acres of wetlands, including over a mile of river, the confluence of the Lostine and Wallowa Rivers and associated riparian areas and wetlands. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and land trust created to protect natural and traditional values of a property in perpetuity.