Chief Joseph Ranch

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Chief Joseph Ranch, Oregon
Photo credit: 
Phil Schermeister

In June of 1997, after two years of complex negotiations, TPL was able to convey to the Nez Perce tribe some 10,300 acres in the heart of its ancestral homeland in Northeast Oregon--land the Nez Perce called Hetes'wits Wetes, or Precious Land. This historic project restored the land to Nez Perce stewardship precisely 120 years after Chief Joseph and his people were driven from their lands in one of the last of the Indian wars in 1877. Formerly a cattle ranch, the property provides excellent wildlife habitat (primarily for Big Horn sheep, elk, cougar and anadromous fish) and will be managed by the tribe as a wildlife preserve. The ranch was purchased with mitigation funds by the Bonneville Power Administration.

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