Nine acres on the west shore of Wallowa Lake now in permanent conservation
(Joseph, Oregon) Three brothers – Frank, Steve and Fred Kimball – had a choice: sell their nine-acre forested property on Wallowa Lake for quick cash, or ensure the land remain intact and forever protected in its natural state. They chose the latter.
“We didn’t want to see the property divided up or developed,” says Dr. Frank Kimball, a retired physician from Walla Walla. The property was given to their father in the 1950s as payment for legal services and the brothers, then young teenagers, spent countless hours there where their parents built a modest cabin.
Now in their seventies and eighties, the brothers decided it was time to tidy up the family estate and do something with this special shoreline property. They contacted Wallowa Land Trust – a local conservation organization in Enterprise devoted to protecting natural areas, wildlife habitat and working lands in Wallowa County. And, after some discussion, they donated the land to Wallowa Land Trust so that it will be permanently conserved.
“This property was our parents dream; they poured heart and soul into it and we’re proud to honor them by making sure it stays the way it is,” Frank says.
The property, located towards the south end of Wallowa Lake, has 1,500 feet of shoreline, mature ponderosa pines and several natural springs that seep water into the lake, the source of drinking water for the City of Joseph. Current zoning would allow for at least four homes along the property, making it highly desirable for development. However, now that Wallowa Land Trust owns the property, no development will occur and it will be managed to maintain and enhance its natural features and habitat. The Kimballs will continue to own their family cabin to the north of the preserved property.
“I really enjoyed working with the Kimball brothers who have made this incredible gift,” Wallowa Land Trust Conservation Director Julia Lakes says. “They were clear from the beginning that they didn’t want to see houses on the shoreline and wanted to keep the forest and springs intact. I’m so proud we could help them fulfill this dream.”
Protection of this beautiful property is in line with Wallowa Land Trust’s priority of conserving the Wallowa Lake moraines for future generations. The Land Trust already owns a 30-acre preserve on the West Moraine and holds a conservation easement on 40 acres on the East Moraine.
ABOUT WALLOWA LAND TRUST:
Founded in 2004, Wallowa Land Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit land conservation organization based in Enterprise, Oregon. The Land Trust’s mission is to protect the rural nature of the Wallowa Country by working cooperatively with private landowners, governmental entities, Indian tribes and local communities to conserve land. Wallowa Land Trust uses voluntary, non-regulatory methods to protect natural areas, wildlife habitat and working lands in Wallowa County.