Online Red Desert programs open to the public

SUBLETTE COUNTY – Historic, archeological and tribal perspectives of the Red Desert will be highlighted in two online programs beginning this week.

At noon on Wednesday, April 7, Central Wyoming College professor and archeologist Todd Guenther will discuss the emigrant history of the Red Desert and the significance of the Great Migration.

Between 1830 and 1912, an estimated 500,000 people traversed South Pass on their migration westward, using the network of the Oregon, California and Mormon trails.

The trails’ worn ruts still mark the northern edge of the Red Desert. Guenther brings a passion for anthropology and the Red Desert and has previously worked for the Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist, South Pass City State Historic site and the Lander Pioneer Museum.  

Then at noon on Wednesday, May 5, experts from the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes will share the Native American history of this same landscape.

Since time immemorial, the Red Desert has been an important home, hunting area and spiritual epicenter for Indigenous people.

Panel members will include Wes Martel, a former longtime member of the Eastern Shoshone Business Council; Jason Baldes, the tribal buffalo coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation; and Yufna Soldier Wolf, the Wind River Reservation organizer for the Wyoming Outdoor Council and former tribal historic preservation officer for the Northern Arapaho Tribe. 

Both events are free and will take place over Zoom. There will be time for discussion, so bring any questions.

To register, visit the Citizens for the Red Desert page on Facebook,