East Moraine Community Forest Management Plan 60-day Public Comment Period Opens
ENTERPRISE - The Wallowa County Commissioners announce a 60-day public comment period on the East Moraine Community Forest Management Plan that will guide the direction of the multiple-use property.
Following more than a decade of effort by the Wallowa Lake Moraines Partnership, comprised of Wallowa County, Wallowa Land Trust, Wallowa Resources and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, in early 1,800 acres of the Wallowa Lake East Moraine was purchased and conveyed into county ownership in January 2020. Since acquisition the Partnership, working with experts from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Forestry and the Nez Perce Tribe cultural and forestry divisions, and others in the community, began drafting a management plan that will govern the management and stewardship of the property, using the best available science to balance multiple uses and concerns across the landscape: forestry, grazing, cultural resources, habitat and recreation.
Kathleen Ackley, Executive Director of Wallowa Land Trust, said a diversity of community members, natural resource experts and land managers contributed to the draft plan. The Nez Perce Tribe’s Cultural Resources Department and Forestry Division staff also actively participated in the development of the Plan.
“Securing the RY Timber preserved the opportunity for the public to access and enjoy the East Moraine and is a huge win for the community, preventing permanent development of this iconic landscape,” Ackley said. “We invite the public to review the draft plan and provide comments to ensure the future management of the property is in line with the community’s vision.”
County Commissioner Susan Roberts said it’s important to provide the public and the taxpayers who own the property an opportunity to weigh in.
“Purchasing the property was a big step, but only the first, in providing economic and recreational opportunities while taking into consideration the overall health of the landscape,” Roberts said.
The East Moraine Community Forest Management Plan can be found on the Wallowa County website at https://co.wallowa.or.us/ under “News and Announcements.” An online survey is also posted on the Wallowa County website to capture comments on the various aspects of the property - habitat, cultural resources, forestry, rangeland and recreation.
A single, bound copy is available to be read onsite in the commissioners’ office on the third floor of the Wallowa County Courthouse.
Comments and answers to the survey must include name, contact information and a reference to the page and section of the draft plan or they will not be accepted. A meeting to capture more public input will be hosted Wednesday September 1 at 6:00PM at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds’ Cloverleaf Hall. The comment period ends October 2.
For More Information Contact:
Wallowa County Natural Resources and Economic Development Director