Wallowa County is located in the northeast corner of Oregon. It is known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and small town living. It has a long tradition of making a living off the land. Even today, ranching and farming remains the cornerstone of the region's economy, lifestyle, and identity. Over the last 30 years, an influx of artisans and entrepreneurs – bronze casters, photographers, glass blowers, renewable energy companies and the like – has added a new and vital component to the county's economy and flavor.
The county's population (roughly 7,000) has remained virtually unchanged since the 1930's. That is just 2.3 people per square mile! Yet, we are also 65 miles from the nearest McDonald's, four hours from a major airport, and what any teenager might refer to as "the mall." Wallowa County is truly small town living.
Yet, our economy consistently ranks at or near the bottom in statewide assessments, having 18% unemployment during the winter months. In 1994, all three sawmills shut down, leaving hundreds out of work, and setting off an economic decline that we have yet to recover from. Due to the loss of family-wage jobs, families moved out of the county and schools experienced dramatic declines in enrollment.
We are responding progressively to these trends. We are creating new models of collaboration and a shared vision of stewardship. We facilitate creative solutions for land management, and work with local entrepreneurs in pursuing new contracting opportunities and markets in renewable energy and small diameter logs. We partner with schools and fill gaps wrought by State budget cuts, providing outside learning programs. Wallowa Resources is a driving force in creating change in this county. Come join us as we turn the tide and face these challenges head on! We need your support and partnership.