LOSTINE — In the early 1900s, Northeast
Oregon's Wallowa County was up to its mountain tops in wool. In a land
containing fewer than 6,000 people, more than a quarter-million sheep
grazed the foothills, basins, and ridges of the high country. And soon
after the mountain home of the native bighorn sheep became pastures for
their domesticated cousins, the wild sheep began dying.
Hunting, poaching, disease, and overgrazing — these were the
bighorn's killers, and in 1927 the Enterprise Record Chieftain reported
that Wallowa County contained the last wild sheep in Oregon.