The 1,791-acre East Moraine property was acquired in January 2020 for public ownership under Wallowa County. The Wallowa Lakes Moraines Partnership made up of Wallowa Land Trust, Wallowa County, Wallowa Resources, and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department worked for over a decade to complete this community conservation project.
Now that it is under Wallowa County ownership, all development and subdivision rights have been extinguished and the property will be managed as a working community forest, protecting native plants, wildlife habitat, and cultural resources while providing non-motorized recreational access and returns to the local economy through sustainable forestry and grazing.
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.”
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.
Working with Wallowa Land Trust, landowners Lou and Deyette Perry voluntarily established a 482-acre conservation easement on their working farm that extinguishes development of one homesite, maintains working lands, and conserves habitat forever. This project is in addition to a growing list of properties under permenant protection on the iconic East Moraine.
Another step to conserve Wallowa Lake’s East Moraine has been taken. Working with Wallowa Land Trust, landowner Anna Mae Quint has voluntarily extinguished all future development and sub-division rights on her 175-acre East Moraine property.
“The moraine is very important – there’s nothing like it on earth,” Quint said.
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.