More than 190 people showed up at the Wallowa Resources 7th Annual Barn Dance, Aug. 29, at the Blue Barn on Tenderfoot Valley Road in Joseph, and raised over $20,000 for the Youth Scholarships for both the WREN (camping, backpacking and exploring camps) and HAWK (paid internships for high school juniors and seniors) programs.

Wallowa Resources, located in Enterprise, is dedicated to the mission of developing local partnerships and creating local jobs and attendees of the dance were an example of the wide variety of individuals who work together to create opportunities in Wallowa County.

Ranchers, landowners, forest contractors, artists and musicians from both Washington and Oregon came together for a good time and to support the not-for-profit organization’s work.

In the process they dined on food prepared by Backyard Gardens and Zane Anderson, danced to music by Henry Kinsley and his band, and bid on products and prizes donated from a wide variety of local businesses and individuals.

Susan Badger-Jones, Eastern Oregon outreach manager for Energy Trust of Oregon, who regularly attends the annual barn dances, is an example of the partnerships Wallowa Resources develops for the benefit of local individuals. Badger-Jones works with local power customers interested in energy efficiency and innovations — such as cash-back incentives for small hydro projects and solar arrays.

When these projects are undertaken, Wallowa Resources “are the local folks on the ground,” she said. “Wallowa County is a really exciting area of work for this.”

In all, the event raised over $68,000, which will be used to continue the many programs Wallowa Resources operates.

Over the past 19 years, Wallowa Resources has invested more than $20 million into Wallowa County for land stewardship, job creation and education. Its programming supports approximately 58 full-time jobs annually. It has leveraged $18 in external funding for every $1 of local support.

Examples of Wallowa Resources work is the restoration of the Upper Joseph Creek project (2002-2007) during which restoration of the property generated over $6 million in jobs and product value and reduced wildfire threats to the timber while improving the property.

Notably, Wallowa Resources continues to work toward the goal of establishing a biomass market for 100,000 tons of locally produced forest products. In 2014 they reported that over 200,000 tons of biomass were utilized. Several new projects are in development and recent changes in the production of biomass at the Integrated Biomass Resources plant in Wallowa have improved sales opportunities.

Wallowa Resources remains dedicated to a mission of achieving a “triple bottom line outcome” that equally values stewardship, education and innovation — for the benefit of Wallowa County.

For more information on Wallowa Resources, visit wallowaresources.com.

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