Volunteers have finished work to clean and prepare the historic Lamar Buffalo Ranch for winter field seminars in Yellowstone National Park.
A range of educational seminars and field trips will be offered, with lodging at the rustic ranch located in the Lamar Valley. Seminars cover topics including photography, wilderness first aid, wildlife watching and even a ski and yoga retreat, according to a statement released by the Yellowstone Association.
The Buffalo Ranch features cabins and a bunkhouse on the site where American bison were saved from near-extinction, , near where gray wolves were reintroduced to the park in 1995-96. The Yellowstone Association Institute began offering multi-day courses at the site in 1976. The Yellowstone Association is the official educational partner of Yellowstone National Park.
The ranch began as a single cabin, built in 1882 for the Cooke City-to-Gardiner stagecoach. In 1906, park officials made it their base for efforts to restore wild bison. By the late 1950s, park officials had succeeded, and the ranch remained vacant until the Institute moved in. Since 1979, the Yellowstone Association has invested more than $400,000 in improvements, including adding solar technology and renovating sleeping cabins to make them more comfortable and energy efficient.
“Whatever the season, the valley changes so dramatically that it just gets hold of you and won’t let go,” said Institute staffer Bonnie Quinn, who manages the campus and lives there nine months out of the year.
“All of the students are always really interested in everything around them,” Quinn says. “They are there to immerse themselves in what we have to offer, the classes and the great instructors, and whatever’s out there in front of them. They come to be there in that moment.”
The Institute still has space available in several upcoming winter programs, including week-long wolf studies and in-depth photography programs.
For details on winter field seminars at the Buffalo Ranch, call 406.848.2400 or visit the Yellowstone Association’s website.
Disclosure: Yellowstone Gate editor Ruffin Prevost is a paid freelance writer for Yellowstone Quarterly, the Yellowstone Association’s member newsletter.