News Release Date: June 28, 2016
Contact: Jeffrey Olson, 202-208-6843
Contact: Heather Eggleston
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has designated the nation’s newest national natural landmark – Mount Howard-East Peak National Natural Landmark in northeastern Oregon. The site is an outstanding example of Montane Grasslands.
Mount Howard-East Peak National Natural Landmark is the 598th national natural landmark (NNL). It was identified and evaluated through a rigorous process - including a scientific evaluation and public comment period. The designation formally acknowledges the site’s outstanding biological features.
Mount Howard-East Peak has the best quality and most diverse example of Montane Grasslands remaining in the Columbia Plateau. The area has outstanding examples of other montane habitats and exceptional botanical diversity. This landmark site provides habitat for a number of Wallowa Mountain endemic and rare plant species.
“National natural landmark sites are designated for their outstanding condition, illustrative character, rarity, diversity and value to science and education” said National Park Service Director Jonathon B. Jarvis. “Landmark designation not only recognizes significant natural features, but establishes partnerships with landowners, managers and partners to cooperatively conserve outstanding sites and promote appreciation of natural heritage beyond units of the National Park System.”
Located in Wallowa County, the site is administered by the US Forest Service, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. More information about the newest NNL is available at https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/regions/Pacific_Northwest/MtHoward/index.shtml.
Administered by the National Park Service, the National Natural Landmarks Program https://www.nature.nps.gov/nnl/ was established in 1962. It recognizes and advocates for the conservation of sites that best illustrate the nation’s biological and geological history. National natural landmarks are owned by a variety of public and private land stewards and the federal designation imposes no new land use restrictions that were not in effect prior to designation.