Recommended Region: The Wallowa Region (Wallowa County, Northeast Oregon)

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2005

The Wallowa Valley is in far north-eastern Oregon, in Wallowa County. The towns dotted along the valley (see map) include Wallowa, Lostine, Enterprise, and Joseph.

The following population statistics are courtesy of the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce:

Wallowa County: 7,150
Enterprise: 2,020
Joseph: 1,085
Lostine: 230
Wallowa: 760
Imnaha: 100

The median income in Wallowa is $28,603, versus the national average of $41,994.
(Source: 2000 U.S. Census )

The mountains ringing the Wallowa Valley get the lion's share of the precipitation, while the valley floor itself is fairly dry. The average precipitation for the entire county: 18.85 inches, Enterprise: 13.26 inches, City of Wallowa: 22.44 inches.

Growing season ranges from only 80 days in Enterprise to 120 days in the Imnaha River Valley.

Advantages: Some of the towns in the Wallowa Valley have 100% gravity fed municipal water systems. Proximity to good hunting and firewood sources in the nearby mountains. The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest makes a "big back yard" that stretches all the way into Idaho. More plentiful water than in many other parts of eastern Oregon. Livestock production includes cattle and sheep. Several lumber mills. Unlike the nearby Grande Ronde Valley, which has a major interstate freeway (I-84) passing through it, the Wallowa Valley is transited by a much smaller highway, so it is will not be as likely a refugee line of drift. Real estate is still reasonably priced.

Disadvantages: Short growing season compared to western Oregon. (But that is the price you pay for isolation and low population density.) Downwind from Seattle if the winds are atypical. Marginal agricultural diversity. (Not as diverse as the nearby Grande Ronde Valley.) The main crops are barley, wheat, grass hay, and alfalfa.

Grid Up Retreat Potential: 4 (On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best)

Grid Down Retreat Potential: 5 (On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best)

Nuclear Scenario Retreat Potential: 4 (On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best)


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