Our Successful Buffalo Reintroduction and Conservation Efforts

The Eastern Shoshone Buffalo Program (Boy-zhan Bi-den) has been a successful effort to bring back buffalo to the Wind River Indian Reservation. The herd was established by working closely with the Tribal Partnerships Program of the National Wildlife Federation, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Reverend Roberts, the Episcopal Missionary who spent 66 years with the Shoshone and Arapaho people documented the last buffalo taken within the WRIR by members of either tribe occurred in 1885. Buffalo bones, skulls and even the relict wallows that buffalo created can still be found around areas of the WRIR.

The fence construction near Morton, Wyoming began around the 300 acre designated buffalo enclosure in the summer of 2016 consisting of a 60” six strand electrified wildlife friendly fence that has smooth top and bottom wires. The first 10, “Certified Disease Free” and “Genetically Reputable” buffalo came from Iowa’s Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge in November of 2016. Since then, bull calves have been born and in 2019, five new bulls arrived from the Fort Peck Reservation as part of a first of its kind, government-to-government relationship between Montana’s Fort Peck Tribes to share in genetically pure Yellowstone buffalo.

The Shoshone Tribal Buffalo Representative Jason Baldes provides educational presentations to schools, students and community members that are interested. Tourists can also take advantage of this one of a kind viewing and educational opportunity with the guidance of Mr. Baldes.

Please contact Jason at 307-231-4299 or at jason.baldes@gmail.com to set up a presentation or to schedule a tour of the enclosure.

Jason received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University. He is currently the Tribal Buffalo Coordinator for the Tribal Partnerships Program of the National Wildlife Federation.
The Eastern Shoshone Buffalo Enclosure is on U.S. Highway 26, between mile markers 108 and 109 south of Pilot Butte Reservoir, west of Morton.