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Wallowa Lake Conservation Easement Celebration Announced

In a public ceremony, the Nez Perce Tribe and Wallowa Lake Lodge will dedicate the Wallowa Lake Conservation Easement at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 21, on Lodge grounds.

Since time immemorial, Wallowa Lake has served as the cultural heart of the local Nez Perce Wal’wama Band. The Conservation Easement encompasses the 9.22-acre Lodge property, including its open ground, towering old-growth trees, and riparian wetlands at the confluence of the upper Wallowa River and Wallowa Lake.

The Cayuse-Nez Perce word for this special place is Waala’amkt, “where the braided stream disappears beneath the water.”

This Conservation Easement, acquired in late 2020 and today held in perpetuity by the Nez Perce Tribe, will ensure the protection of fisheries habitat and cultural resources by precluding or restricting additional development, especially in Aquatic Zone A (see attached map.) It allows the use of the property for a variety of activities, but does not allow permanent structures in protected areas (Zones A & B). Limited construction is permitted in two modest building envelopes (Zone C).

The Nez Perce Tribe and Wallowa Lake Lodge welcome the public to attend this long-awaited dedication. Tribal Chairman Sam Penney will lead the celebration to officially dedicate the Easement. Others will comment on its cultural and scientific significance and implications for future management of the Wallowa Lake Basin.

Eastern Oregon Legacy Lands (Wallowology) and Oregon State Parks worked closely with the Tribe and Lodge to help bring this unique partnership to fruition. Funding for the $1M project includes generous grants from the Collins Foundation, Healy Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Murdock Charitable Trust, Meyer Memorial Trust, and Pacific Power Foundation. As well, Craft3, a bank based in Astoria, and Bank of Eastern Oregon, played critical roles.

The Celebration begins at 10 a.m and a private lunch will follow.

For more information, contact Madeline Lau, Lodge GM, at 541-432-9821, or Ann McCormack, Nez Perce Tribe, at 208-621-3710.