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Columbia Basin

Source: J Garrett Armstrong
Enterprise, OR  
Source: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives
The Northeastern Columbia River Basin is called home by just five percent of Oregon’s total population. Though sparsly populated, the area boasts a rich cultural heritage steeped in natural resource accumulation and extraction activities such as mining, timber harvesting, and irrigated agriculture. These industries, from the earliest settlements in the 1800's to present day, have defined this region and its people. The stark mountains, high desert plateaus, and low valleys are beautiful and cherished by residents and visitors alike, however the climate in Northeastern Oregon does not invite “easy living”. The naturally dry climate has required a great deal of innovation and resource management, with regard to its water supply, to ensure that agriculture is viable. Without irrigation from the nearby Columbia River few, if any crops would thrive.

The Northeastern Columbia River Basin region is comprised of Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Baker counties. It's major cities include:
  • Pendleton
  • Hermiston
  • La Grande
  • Enterprise
  • Baker City