I was born in Ontario, Oregon shortly after the War. My grandpa started the Ontario Laundry in 1910, which my dad took over in 1955 and sold in 1980. We all loved the outdoors — camping, hunting, fishing, hiking. Between family, friends, and Boy Scouts, we spent the most outdoor time in the Owyhee country.
I graduated from Ontario High School, then from college, then spent my Navy years on the East Coast and on a destroyer homeported in South Carolina. Only then did I come to truly appreciate the beauty of the public lands of Oregon. I was homesick most of the time, longing for mountains and canyons I could wander freely — without trespassing, without cities, without roads. I then knew that eastern Oregon was my home forever, and that I would try to save what I loved from all those things that had so drastically altered most of the land back East.
The gems of the Wallowas, Hells Canyon, Wenaha, Strawberrys, North Fork John Day and Steens Mountain have been protected. The Owyhees deserve no less.