Leadership Class visited E. Shoshone Bison Herd

A majestic American Bison in its Eastern Shoshone pasture west of Morton. Wyotoday.com photo by Rusty Wuertz

On Thursday the Leadership Fremont County Class of 2020 visited the Eastern Shoshone Bison release grounds just outside of Morton. Jason Baldes,  the Eastern Shoshone Tribe’s buffalo coordinator, led the group of local leaders. Baldes explained the 40-year-process that both he and his father had a hand in. He emphasized that the buffalo are paramount to Tribal members both in harvesting and cultural celebrations.

The EST Bison herd now numbers of about 30 animals, that were brought here from the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana after being quarantined to be disease free.
Wyotoday.com photo by Rusty Wuertz

Baldes explained the process that goes into returning buffalo back to the reservation after they were absent for 130 years. First reintroduced in 2016, the herd currently sits around 30 animals. A lengthy processes of testing and quarantine go into assuring that the buffalo are ready to release.

Currently some 300 Acres of Eastern Shoshone Land is used for this project, the next vision would work hand in hand with the Northern Arapaho Tribe, expanding another 60,000 acres for the buffalo to call home. Baldes said, “I’ve always seen the buffalo as a way to bring the two tribes together. It starts with the buffalo…We can start to heal from past atrocities.”

Bison on the range. Wyotoday.com photo by Rusty Wuertz