The near extermination of the bison (more often referred to ‘buffalo’ in Tribal communities), severed the commissarial relationship Tribes had with the animal. Imposed land use systems discouraged holistic land and natural resource management, and millions of acres were lost in broken promises made with the federal government. Sovereignty and the self-determination of Tribes has been undermined by State and local municipalities and threats to remaining lands waters and wildlife continue. Ecological restoration and cultural revitalization are not mutually exclusive, for Native American people and Sovereign Tribes, they are intricately intertwined. Tribal Buffalo restoration has a wide spectrum, but the implications are extremely important for our communities.
Jason Baldes received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Land Resources & Environmental Sciences from Montana State University where he focused on Tribal Bison Restoration. Currently, in his capacity as Tribal Buffalo Program Manager for the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Partnerships Program, he established resolution based agreements and has helped restore over 100 conservation buffalo to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation since 2016. Jason sits on the board of directors for the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, board of trustees for the Conservation Lands Foundation, and the environmental commission of the Congress of Nations & States. He is the executive director of the Wind River Tribal Buffalo Initiative, and adjunct professor at Central Wyoming College and Wind River Tribal College. Jason is a member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and manages the Tribes’ growing herd of over 70 buffalo.
These programs are supported by our sponsors: Sage Creek Ranch and Nancy-Carroll Draper Charitable Foundation.