State parks department’s master plan for Wallowa Lake, Minam to be unveiled

The two largest projects are both slotted for Wallowa Lake –– an events center at the marina and reconfiguration of the marina parking lot.
Paul Wahl

Wallowa County Chieftain

Published on September 12, 2018 8:42AM

The most extensive improvement projects at Wallowa Lake State Park would be made in the marina area.

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The most extensive improvement projects at Wallowa Lake State Park would be made in the marina area.

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Wallowa County residents are invited to come out and help chart the course of Wallowa Lake State Park and two other parcels next week.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has updated its 2001 master plan for the park at the lake, as well as Minam State Recreation Area and the Wallowa Lake Highway Scenic Corridor. The document is designed to help chart recreational use and resource management over the next several decades.

The two largest projects are both slotted for Wallowa Lake –– an events center at the marina and reconfiguration of the marina parking lot.

The events center is described as an “event space with views overlooking the lake and east moraine.” Estimate cost is $1.2 million.

Reworking the parking lot is tagged at $700,000.

“In general, the large amounts of parking at the marina are underutilized,” the plan states. “Therefore ... there is an opportunity to reconfigure the parking lot to provide more greenspace, better stormwater management and improved traffic flow.”

Don’t expect construction on either project to begin tomorrow. next year or perhaps ever.

“These are potential park improvements to be implemented over the next 15-20 years,” said Ian Matthews, a planner for the department who has been shepherding the project. “The plan does not guarantee funding oe that the proposed facilities will be constructed.”

Overall, the plan contains $12 million in suggested improvements, including developing additional ADA-qualified fishing and kayaking areas near the marina, as well as a fenced off-leash dog area, a boat fueling station, nature play area near the beach and expanding the concession building.

Improvements to the parks day use area, administrative area, the campground and the Little Alps development are also in the plan. Eight additional yurts and rehab of the two existing ones to create a yurt village are also suggested.

The primary aim of redevelopment at Minam is to reduce parking conflicts and address overcapacity issues during peak river use season. Proposed improvements include expansion of the main parking lot and construction of an overflow parking area.

“The gravel parking area north of Minam Station should be removed and the area restored to natural conditions, with equestrian parking relocated to the overflow parking lot,” the plan states.

Other improvements could include picnic shelters near the river, a viewing area and improvements to the Minam Station building. Those improvements are pegged at more than a half-million dollars.


COME AND SEE


A public meeting to discuss a Master Plan Update for State Parks in Wallowa County 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Joseph Community Center, 401 E. 1st St., Joseph. An advisory committee for the plan will meet to review the plan 2 p.m. the same day at Joseph Community Center.

The public is welcome to attend the advisory committee meeting; however, only comments from the committee will be heard at this meeting. Comments from the public will be heard during the evening session.

The Draft Plan can be viewed at wallowastateparksplan.com. Comments may be submitted in person at the public meeting, via the website or directly to OPRD at ian.matthews@oregon.gov.



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