Eastern Shoshone Buffalo Restoration Program Is Growing

Jun 14, 2019

Credit U.S. Department of Interior

The Eastern Shoshone Tribe is celebrating a new addition to its bison herd. Dennis Oneal of the Tribe's Buffalo Restoration Program said he first noticed the newborn calf as he was making his morning rounds.

"One of the first things I do is I go out and count them, make sure they're all there. And you know, there's the calf standing there," Oneal said. "They're real red when they're first born and real easy to see."

This marks the sixth bison calf born on the Wind River Reservation since the tribe launched its buffalo restoration program in 2016.

Five adult bison will also join the herd later this month, bringing its size up to 30 animals. Jason Baldes, buffalo representative for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, says the addition will promote the overall health of the herd.

"It's important to bring different pure genetics into the population and increase the variability," Baldes said. "It's our hope that the program will begin to expand and include more land for these animals."

The public is invited to watch those five bison be released into the Eastern Shoshone Buffalo Enclosure at 10:00 am on Sunday, June 23. The enclosure is located between mile markers 108 and 109 on Highway 26 on the Wind River Reservation, south of the Pilot Butte Reservoir.