Meet our Guests: Doug McDaniel


Doug McDaniel


Wallowa County, OR


Standing with arms crossed over a shirt that faded seamlessly into the backdrop of blue Oregon sky while his border collie Hawk nuzzled his boots, octogenarian Doug McDaniel looked every part the rancher. Doug was born and raised in Wallowa County, and after a career in road construction, he now devotes his considerable passion and energy to a venture close to his heart: restoring the natural meanders of the Wallowa River where it flows through his ranch. As he walked us along its banks, we learned how Doug’s resources and vision enabled the rehabilitation of the riparian areas he recalls from his childhood, even if, while navigating a myriad of bureaucracies, that meant absorbing tens of thousands of dollars in losses to his own pocket. Said Doug while looking lovingly out over his river, “Everybody needs a-piece-uh land they can take care of . . . The only good belief is one you’ve got some conviction in.”

By Noah Dunn

Photo by James Baker