2019 proved to be an exciting year for the upstream irrigators in Wallowa County. After operating as an irrigation district for a couple of years, we were granted an incredible opportunity from Gov. Kate Brown by being included in the proposed budget for rehabilitating the Wallowa Lake Dam.

After months of lobbying and traveling to Salem to meet with representatives and senators, including our own Rep. Barreto and Sen. Hansell, we survived the chaos that is the legislative branch and came out with $14 million in June to be allocated to the Wallowa Lake Dam Project.

We have been actively working with all the local interest to begin tackling the many steps that are in front of us. We sent out RFPs in late November to engineering firms all across the Northwest, and we are excited to announce the firm that will be tackling the construction of this project in the coming weeks. After that announcement we will be working with stakeholders to address a fish passage solution for the Wallowa Lake Dam. This will be the first time there will be fish passage into Wallowa Lake for more than a century, and we are looking forward to being a part of it.

The Wallowa Lake Irrigation District would like to extend its gratitude to this community for the support it has given us. Our goal is to give quarterly updates in the paper to address the ongoing efforts on the Wallowa Lake Dam project, as well as answering questions that will arise as this project gets closer to fruition. Thank you!

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