Courtesy of Wallowa Land Trust

Wallowa Land Trust

Enterprise, OR

Wallowa Land Trust works to protect the rural nature of Wallowa County, Oregon, by working cooperatively with private landowners, Indigenous people, local communities, and governmental entities to conserve land.

Beginning in 2019, Wallowa Land Trust has held an annual Wallowa Gathering, a reunion of tribal families hosted by private landowners and a collaboration of non-profits in Wallowa County, to increase land access for cultural and ceremonial use by regional tribes.

The mainstream conservation world has championed the idea that humans are separate from nature – we should only visit and leave no trace. This narrative of course leaves out the thousands of years that Indigenous people have been an intrinsic part of the landscape, shaping and caring for lands we now occupy. It completely negates the role that humans have had over time as participants in, and stewards of, the ecosystem. It abrogates that vital spiritual connection humans have had with the land since time immemorial.
— Kathleen Ackley, executive director of Wallowa Land Trust

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A Blessing on Both Sides

The transformative power of partnerships between land trusts and tribal groups.