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About Wallowa County chieftain. (Enterprise, Wallowa County, Or.) 1943-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 14, 2018)
minutes with ...
Artist and rancher
Cliff Galli, 67, of Joseph may be relatively new to Wal-
lowa County, but in many ways, he’s cut from the same cloth
as county ranchers. He and wife Pam moved to Joseph from
Riggins, Idaho, where he ran 300 mother cows (and addi-
tional bulls and replacement heifers) on 3,000 acres.
For Our Wallowa County!
Now, they’re down to 100 mother cows on 500 acres of
the old Dobbin Ranch in Joseph in their “retirement.”
They arrived in Joseph in 2014 along with the youngest of
the blended family of four children, Sunny Galli, who grad-
uated from Enterprise High in 2017 and is now at the Uni-
versity of Idaho.
Cliff Galli is an artist in addition to a cattleman and has
worked in many mediums, including painting and ceramic
work. You can find his work at fineartamerica.com.
He graduated from high school in Corte Madera, Calif., in
1968 and went directly into the army and then the National
Guard. He attended Humbolt State University, majoring in
art after his discharge, and found himself with a different
viewpoint on a lot of things — becoming an antiwar activist,
an artist and a “back to the land” enthusiast.
It was the back to the land enthusiasm that led him into
ranching, which he said got harder due to wolf pressure.
There is no compensation program for ranchers who lose
cattle to wolves in Idaho, and wolf pressure also brings elk
herds down to lower altitudes where the elk graze down sum-
mer pastures, making them unavailable for cattle, he said.
“Elk, 300 head of elk, would winter with us, and they’d
bring the wolves with them,” he said. “I have nothing against
wolves, but it got to where you couldn’t live with them.”
He and wife, Pam, are focused on conservation of the
Dobbins property. They are part of the Conservation Stew-
ardship Program with the Natural Resources Conservation
Service and have just begun a five-year program. Galli is sup-
porting Nez Perce efforts to bring beaver back to sections of
Prairie Creek on his ranch, which is on the Nez Perce Trail.
“I don’t actually work toward (their goals),” he said. “Nez
Perce are on their own timeline. I just let them know we are
February 14, 2018
Wallowa County Chieftain
open if they want to do (projects or campouts) on the land.”
Q. Why move to Wallowa County?
A. When I was ranching in Riggins I’d sit on top of the Seven
Devils and look across toward Oregon and say, ‘There’s
where I’m going to go (when I retire).’ There were a lot of
things about government in Idaho I didn’t like, and I didn’t
think my son would get the quality of education I wanted him
to have if we stayed in Idaho. Moving to Wallowa County
was a real upgrade from what we had. I was getting older,
and I wanted to be a little more civilized. When you live in
the wilderness, it’s a different deal. You go without stuff and
you find out what the differences are. (For instance) medical
care here is 10 times better than I thought it was. This clinic
and this hospital are exemplary.
Q. What has Wallowa County taught you?
A. It’s teaching me about farming in a short growing season.
Also, that a good environment makes good children. All the
community around here, that I’ve seen, has helped to raise
the children that are here. Kids around here are a pretty clean
bunch of kids. Also, you can trust people — you can leave
your keys in the car. I don’t want to live somewhere where
you have to lock everything. What kind of “wealth” is that?
Q. What is the first book you remember checking
out of the library, and what book can you recom-
mend that you have read recently?
A. It was one of these books on elements and it was on gold. I
was maybe seven. A book I can recommend is by Alvin Jose-
phy: “Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest”
(available at The Bookloft). I’m a history freak.
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Diane Daggett