Hope in the Wallowas
In 1994, protesters tarred and feathered effigies of two local environmentalists and hanged the figures in downtown Joseph. The anger was born of anxiety. Sawmills were closing, jobs were evaporating, young people were leaving, and many residents blamed changes in federal environmental policy, which now prioritized habitat restoration over Wallowa County’s traditional sources of income—timber harvest and ranching. The Timber Wars were in full swing, forestry jobs were disappearing, and environmentalists were seen as the enemy.