Rally for Rangers
A couple years ago I met Tom Medema, a Yosemite park ranger at a Naturebridge fundraiser. Our mutual friend Steve Lockhart introduced us knowing we not only shared a love for the outdoors, conservation, and protection of wild places, but also motorcycles. Tom was part of a nascent organization http://www.rallyforrangers.org/our-story/#01 to provide reliable dirt bikes to park rangers in Mongolia, and I was fascinated by the story. Why Mongolia? Well, like many places in the world it is a country rich in natural scenery and wildlife, but poor in economic terms. It's a young democracy surrounded by Russia and China. The Mongolian rangers are trying to protect endangered species like Snow Leopards, Argali Sheep, and Mongolian marmots from poachers. Sometimes the rangers go after illegal gold miners. The rangers were riding horses, or reindeer, patrolling huge tracts of wilderness and the bad guys have quads and pickup trucks. The rangers have been bringing a knife to a gunfight. Providing the park rangers with motorcycles sounded like a worthy cause. When Tom recently wrote me asking if I would like to deliver a bike this summer I jumped at the chance. Then I asked my daughter Alexis, also a tree hugging dirt biker, if she wanted to join. So Alexis and I are signed up to deliver motorcycles (along with eight other riders.) We are each trying to raise $4,000 to buy the motorcycles which will be donated to our park rangers. I'll pay my own travel expenses. We will ride the bikes from Ulan Bataar, the capitol, across part of the Gobi desert to Otgontenger national park in western central Mongolia. We'll hand off the bikes to our rangers, then get a ride in a truck to another town and fly home.
The Gobi desert is the third largest in the world. The Otgontenger Park is home to the mountain of the same name, a sacred site in Mongolia that no one is allowed to climb. The work that the rangers do is hard and worthy and they make almost no money. The gift of a motorcycle to them is akin to someone giving a western professional person their own airplane.
As we prepare for the trip, I invite you to join the adventure through my blog posts, photos, and things that appear on the Rally for Rangers website. I am hoping to educate and inform everyone I can about what we are up to in this aid mission. If you’d like to contribute money, click here: https://www.generosity.com/animal-pet-fundraising/mongolia-rally-for-rangers-2017/x/16683053
Or go to www.rallyforrangers.org
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