Buffalo are vital to the well-being of Indigenous people and the land itself. Learn More

Our Team

We Know Buffalo are Essential

To reestablish a healthy Buffalo population is to heal our land, our health, and to honor the cultural legacies of our ancestors. After their absence from the Wind River Reservation for over a century, we are on a mission to bring the Buffalo back.
Jason Baldes, Photo by Russel Albert Daniels/High Country News

Jason Baldes

Executive Officer, Board President & Eastern Shoshone Tribe Buffalo Manager

Jason Baldes received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Land Resources & Environmental Sciences from Montana State University, where he focused on Tribal Bison Restoration. As Tribal Buffalo Program Manager for the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Partnerships Program, he has established resolution-based agreements and helped restore more than 100 conservation Buffalo to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes in Wind River since 2016.

Baldes sits on the board of directors for the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council, the 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. A member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, Baldes also manages a growing herd of more than 70 Buffalo.

Dennis O'Neal

Dennis O’Neal

Vice President & Northern Arapaho Tribe Buffalo Manager

Dennis is the Director of Traditional Resources Northern Arapaho Tribe, Buffalo Manager of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, and enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe (Sho-Rap).

A lifetime resident of Wind River Indian Reservation, Dennis’s parents are from Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes, thus his Sho-Rap status. He is a proud boarding school survivor — Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Dennis is grateful to be working with and for Buffalo restoration in the Wind River.

wind river buffalo board chair wes martel

Wes Martel

Board Chair

Wes Martel served on the Eastern Shoshone Business Council for twenty years where he oversaw programs and legislation dealing with water, taxation, energy, and environment. He was Chairman of the Fish & Game Committee for the Shoshone & Arapaho Tribes where they instituted sound fisheries and wildlife management planning with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and also adopted a Tribal Game Code. His work included developing a severance tax program for the Tribes and drafting, approving, and adoption of the Wind River Water Code.

Wes is a veteran and has a deep and abiding respect for the values and beliefs of indigenous people.

“Back in the old day, we used the Buffalo for everything. The Buffalo provided everything for us.”

wind river buffalo board secretary mark headley

Mark Headley


Mark grew up wandering the Grand Tetons of Wyoming as a child and started camping every summer in the high Sierra. He established the Selberg Institute in Southern Oregon to protect and restore the border region of southern Oregon and northern California.

Mark has enjoyed a lifelong love of nature, having been exposed to protected wild areas from a young age. After retiring from a successful career in international asset management, Mark has devoted much of his time protecting wild places of the Western United States. Mark currently lives in Wyoming.

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