Yakama Nation Wildlife Resource Management Program

Yakama Nation Wildlife Resource Management Program

Big Game & Bison

The Big Game Program manages large animals that roam across Yakama Nation lands and oversees the Buffalo herd

History of the Buffalo Herd

In 1991, the tribe purchased 12 buffalo from a tribal member. The original investment was to supply the tribes Cultural Heritage Center Restaurant and serve buffalo as a menu item. At this time the buffalo were under the management of the restaurant then in 1995, management of the buffalo herd was turned over to Yakama Nation Wildlife Resource Management Program. Currently, the herd is at 154 buffalo but has reached over 200 buffalo in some years.

Yakama Nation became a member of the Intertribal Buffalo Council (ITBC) in 1998, who’s mission is to restore buffalo back to tribal lands. In December of 2021, the tribe received a Yellowstone family group  of 26 buffalo from ITBC. The programs goal is to introduce new genetics and manage for herd health.

If you would like to see the Buffalo

  • Call the Wildlife Program at (509) 865-5121 ext. 6331 to schedule a time to view
  • Viewings of the buffalo are better from December to April while the staff are feeding.
  • For schools that want to visit the buffalo ranch please contact the Big Game Biologist.