Humble Beginnings: In the Back Room of a Bakery
In 1996, due to changes in national forest management, the saw mills shut down and 20% of the workforce lost their jobs overnight. In the back room of a bakery, a group of local citizens came together to create a new community organization to deal with this abrupt economic downturn– Wallowa Resources.
Since then, we have invested our time, money, and effort in taking care of Wallowa County's land and community. We educate the next generation. We put local people to work. We share our successes--and our failures--so that we can learn from each other. We work to revitalize rural communities, especially Wallowa County. Our response to that founding crisis became a national model for community-based solutions.
Today we look forward as we extend our reach and increase our benefit to the region.
1996 Wallowa Resources founded.
1998 Mobile mill testing occurs to determine the viability of processing small diameter logs.
1999 Wallowa Resources partners on the McDaniel's Wallowa River Restoration Project.
2000 Wallowa Canyonlands Partnership, a cooperative noxious weed management program, starts with seed funding from the Bureau of Land Management.
2001 Investment in the Joseph Timber Company to save the mill jobs; it closes before benefits can be realized.
2004 Arroz Stewardship Contract – due to the Community Planning Process, Arroz was the first commercial timber sale not appealed in ten years.
Kids and Schools participate in the first youth education program, Outdoor School.
2005 A new small log processing business, Community Smallwood Solutions, is formed with 15 other investors.
2007 Creation of Wallowa Mountain Institute, the education arm of Wallowa Resources
2009 A new small business, Integrated Biomass Resources, moves to Wallowa County to produce chips, hog fuel, and pest-free certified firewood.
Reservoir Fuel Reduction Project occurs, creating 14 jobs, thinning 800 acres of forest, and providing biomass fuel for Enterprise School bioler.
2010 WR moves into the old hospital building, now the Wallowa Resources' Stewardship Center.
2011 Whitman in the Wallowas, a month-long course co-hosted with Whitman College with Wallowa County as the classroom.
2012 Construction of the new Integrated Biomass Energy Campus begins and is projected to support over 20 jobs.