Audrey Love

Nearly 7,000 acres of ranch, hunting and recreational land outside Joseph and Enterprise could be sold at auction to the highest bidder if long-time owners aren’t able to settle on a familial agreement and buy back the property.

The land in question includes Mt. Joseph Ranch, a 923-acre ranch valued at $2.2 million, three miles southwest of Joseph at the base of Eagle Cap Wilderness; Green Valley Ranch, 372 acres with three homes, livestock facilities, Wallowa River frontage, and 271 acres of water rights for irrigation, valued at $1.6 million, located between Joseph and Enterprise; and around 5,600 acres of land in eight tracts along Big Sheep Creek Corridor near Hells Canyon, including the Marr Flat Cattle Company, according to the auction site.

The Buhler family has owned land in Wallowa County since the mid-1950s, when patriarch Don Buhler bought the home ranch, Mt. Joseph, for an estimated $30,000, says April Grow, Buhler’s granddaughter. The former dude ranch looked then much like it does now, boasting a lodge, two homes, cabins, a restored barn, dining hall and livestock facilities, as well as nearly 260 acres of water rights for irrigation. Buhler and his wife, Virginia Reed, raised a family on that land. Their children eventually brought grandchildren out to that land, and Don and Virginia were buried on that land. Generations of memories have grown from the land Don Buhler bought nearly 60 years ago.

After Don’s passing in 2007, the ranch and trust were handed down to his three children, Chris Buhler, Leslie Miller and
Allison Reed. However, Buhler died without a will, and his heirs have not been able to fully agree on what to do with the properties, according to Grow.