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.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Isn't there already public access on the East Moraine?
The East Moraine is entirely privately owned. Currently, many people trespass on this landscape and a "social trail" has been created through this trespass. The goal of this project is to work with East Moraine landowners to develop a permanent trail open the public.
 
What is the purpose of the trail?
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.

How will the trail stop trespassing?
The Wallowa Lake Moraines Partnership is working with willing landowners on the East Moraine to place a defined trail on the Moraine that will keep hikers in a narrow trail corridor, protecting the landowner’s privacy and the natural resources. The trail is being developed with landowner permission and involvement. The majority of the landowners are interested in placing trail easements on their property which, similar to a road or access easement, would allow for certain uses in a defined corridor on their property. Other landowners are interested in selling a portion / all of their property to the Partnership.
 
What if a landowner doesn’t want a trail on their property?
The Wallowa Lake Moraines Partnership is working with willing landowners. No landowners are being forced to place a trail on their property.
 
Will the trail impact a landowner’s property taxes?
The trail itself should not impact a landowner's property taxes.
 
Where will the trail be located?
The trail would run primarily along the crest of the East Moraine where landowners provide permission. There will be three trailheads - 1) along the highway across from Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site north of Wallowa Lake; 2) along the highway at the green gate toward the south end of Wallowa Lake; and 3) on Turner Lane on the back side of the East Moraine. View a map of the potential trail route.
 
How will the trail be maintained?
The Wallowa Lake Moraines Partnership will maintain and manage the trail with help from trail users.
 
Why is the public being asked to weigh in on a trail through private property?
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.
 
What about the RY or Yanke property?
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.
 
What is the Wallowa Lake Moraines Partnership?
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.
 
How can I learn more?
View the East Moraine Trail Plan. Contact us with questions, to volunteer or to make a donation to the Moraines Fund.