- Associated Press - Monday, October 20, 2014

ENTERPRISE, Ore. (AP) - An effort is underway in northeastern Oregon to preserve a prominent piece of scenery at one of the state’s premier outdoor recreation areas, the east moraine that hugs Wallowa Lake.

The idea of protecting the glacial deposit dates to the adoption of the county land use plan in the 1970s.

But it’s gotten fresh impetus in recent months with an alliance of public and private interests, an endorsement from the local Chamber of Commerce board and an invitation to apply for federal funds to help with the purchase, the La Grande Observer (https://bit.ly/1CMiOn0) reports.

“Approximately 700,000 people each year visit Wallowa County and businesses throughout the county use photographs of that viewshed in their marketing,” said Kathleen Ackley of the Wallowa Land Trust.

The moraine rises about 900 feet above the lake. It is largely undeveloped and is in private hands, about 1,800 acres in a family trust. It’s used for grazing and timber. Public access is allowed for hiking and horseback riding.

Plans for preserving it have advanced by a partnership that includes the Wallowa Land Trust, private landowners, Wallowa County and the state parks department.

The group is aiming to apply for money from the Forest Legacy Program, which is designed to protect working forests.

The county would own the land and continue to manage it for grazing and timber.

“Far and away, the majority of the community does not want to see development on the east moraine,” said Mike Hayward, chairman of the county commissioners.


Information from: The (La Grande) Observer, https://www.lagrandeobserver.com/

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