Archive for November 8th, 2011

Jason Baldes has never seen buffalo on the Wind River Reservation in northern Wyoming. Neither has his father.

Jason Baldes, shown with his dog Beah, has long been committed to serving his community on the Wind River Indian Reservation. (KELLYGORHAM/MSU)

Both know it’s been too long since the sacred animal roamed their land. And now, Jason is hoping to use a Science to Achieve Results grant to bring the buffalo back, the Billings Gazette reports.

    Studying for his master’s degree in land resources and environmental sciences, Baldes is the 11th MSU graduate student to receive the STAR award since 1995. His fellowship amounts to $87,000 over two years.

    “I was very surprised,” Baldes said. “It’s a ticket into accomplishing something we as a family have always really, really wanted.”

    Baldes, 33, is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe and long committed to improving life on the reservation. The youngest of nine children and father of four, he grew up hunting and exploring the back country with his father, Richard, now retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Jason hopes to use his time and grant money to study how “ecological and community health” can be improved on the reservation.

    Baldes said Shoshone leaders have already given him permission to pursue his project, but he still needs support from Northern Arapaho leaders. Shoshone and Northern Arapaho both live on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming.

Jenna Cederberg