The East Moraine of Wallowa Lake is visually stunning, culturally significant, economically productive and ecologically important. The Wallowa County Board of Commissioners, Wallowa Resources, Wallowa Land Trust, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and The Trust for Public Land came together to form the Wallowa Lake Moraines Partnership to work with landowners to protect the East Moraine as it's entirely privately owned. For years, people have trespassed on these lands. Now, the Moraines Partnership is working with East Moraine landowners to secure access on these lands while conserving them for future generations.
Isn't there already public access on the East Moraine?
The purpose of the trail is to allow residents and visitors alike to enjoy access to this incredible landscape while respecting private property rights and the delicate ecology of the East Moraine. The trail would be open to the public free of charge. Developing a sanctioned trail open to the public can also protect landowners from liability associated with recreational uses.
Once the Wallowa Lake Moraines Partnership developed a draft Trail Plan together with East Moraine landowners, the Partnership asked the public to provide input on the project. The Partnership wants to ensure that the community is supportive of the effort and understands the details of it. Many people trespass on this landscape and do not even know that they are on private property. The Partnership is working with landowners to make access legal and respectful.
The Ronald C. Yanke Family Trust owns over 1,700 acres on the south half of the Moraine and on to Mt. Howard. In 2011 they alerted the Partnership they were interested in either developing their property for residences or selling it. The Partnership is working to purchase this property. Once purchased, future development and subdivison rights would be extinguished and the land would be placed into Wallowa County ownership. It would continue to be a working landscape while providing public access for horseback riders, bikers and hikers.
The Wallowa Lake Moraines Partnership is a group consisting of Wallowa County, Oregon Parks & Recreation Department, Wallowa Land Trust, Wallowa Resources and The Trust for Public Land that came together in 2011 to protect open space, provide public access and maintain working lands on the East Moraine. The Partnership was formed when the Ronald C. Yanke Trust stated that they were interested in either developing their property or selling it. The Partnership then began working closely with the Ronald C. Yanke Family Trust and other East Moraine landowners.