Give a Mongolian park ranger a motorcycle and help protect Lake Hovsgol!

Give the Mongolian park rangers at Lake Hovsgol National Park motorcycles to better protect the vast areas of the park from poachers and illegal logging.
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Cheri Brugman
535 Facebook Friends
Community
San Francisco, California
United States
1 Team Member
This campaign is raising funds on behalf of Lake Baikal Heritage Foundation, a verified nonprofit. The campaign does not necessarily reflect the views of the nonprofit or have any formal association with it. All contributions are considered unrestricted gifts and can't be specified for any particular purpose.


Hi everyone, Cheri here!

I have always enjoyed the beautiful wilderness spaces and am passionate about preserving undeveloped space for wildlife habitat and the mental health of humans.

Mongolia is a place I have been fascinated with for over 10 years, mostly due to it's natural and cultural beauty and purity. Over the past several months I have become involved with a campaign to help preserve one of the last, ancient largest freshwater lakes in the world called Lake Hovsgol.  The Mongolians call this body of water "The Mother Sea".  The Lake and the wildlife park around it are unique on this planet, and under threat from poachers and illegal developers and loggers.

The park is patrolled by rangers, mostly on horseback, on foot or decrepit old motorcycles which were never really meant for off-road use.  The rangers need better transportation to do their job catching poachers and illegal developers, and the motorcycles they have are old, tired and inadequate.  The horses are even less effective and it's not easy to cover vast expanses of wilderness on foot or catch up with poachers driving 4-wheel drive jeeps. New off-road motorcycles will greatly help them to do their jobs. And the Mongolian government has agreed to provide all maintenance, parts and fuel for the motorcycles.

I am raising funds to buy one motorcycle and safety gear to outfit a ranger.  On my own dime I am going to go to Mongolia to deliver it to the ranger in person. Entire airfare comes out of my own pocket, and I am volunteering my time both here with fundraising and coordination, and in Mongolia with coordination and delivery.

Lake Hovsgol is one of the last best places!

The Lake and surrounding wildlife area is a National Park bigger than Yellowstone and strictly protected as a transition zone between Central Asian Steppe and the Siberian Taiga.  It's one of 17 ancient lakes that are more than 2 million years old, and the water is so clean you can drink it without any treatment.  There are a number of indigenous people that live around it and depend on it for their water supply.  In fact  it contains 70% of all the surface freshwater supply for the whole country of Mongolia.  There is no body of water this clean and this large in America. None.

So what's threatening it?

Illegal poaching, including illegal drift net fishing, illegal logging: The lake has fish, including two endemic species, and since it's a lake, those fish can easily become overfished as every other fish population in the world has become.  The surrounding parklands are home to a number of really awesome animals, including ibex, argali, elk, wolf, wolverine, musk deer, brown bear, Siberian moose, and sable.

Mongolia has done a good job designating this area as a wildlife preserve to protect the survival of these animals, but enforcement is challenging.  Rangers have been stabbed and injured trying to enforce the law against poachers, who stand to make a great deal of money in the short term.

Illegal development and tourism: It shouldn't be news to Americans that people in and from outside Mongolia are eager to develop properties around the lake.  Rangers have caught individuals simply building around it without permits. Run off and pollution from illegal development and road building is certain to pollute the lake, as well as impact wildlife habitat.  Additionally outsiders have come in and started developing environmental tourism projects without necessarily caring for the habitat or obtaining permission.

But they have rangers to enforce the laws, right?

Yes, the whole park is about 4,600 square miles (1.2mm hectares) and there are 15 permanent rangers and a few seasonal ones.  Each ranger patrols over 300 square miles of park, which is about the same size as all the boroughs in New York City.  And they do it mostly on horseback.    Imagine if there was only one policeman in a space as big as the five boroughs of New York City, and he was on horseback chasing bad guys in jeeps.

The poachers and illegal users in the park tool around in jeeps, 4x4's, and other vehicles.  Did I also mention the poachers are armed?

The rangers have asked for help by in the form of offroad motorcycles, gear, and training.  With modern offroad motorcycles, they could patrol more effectively and discourage lawbreakers.

So why do I care, and how can I help?

It's true, Mongolia is halfway around the world, but I care, and here's why:

  • We don't have that many wild places left in the world.  
  • We don't have that much wildlife left in the world.
  • I love nature, I spend a lot of time in nature, and it's not often that I get to actually do hands-on volunteering to not only help protect one of the last pristine natural places in the world, but at the same time help improve the work life of an individual who is protecting this area. That's just awesome!

Even if you aren't moved by this situation, I ask that you support me in my effort to keep this wild area as pristine as possible. You can help by donating to help cover the cost of a motorcycle and equipment.

Where does the money go?

100% of the money you donate is tax-deductible, and goes to buy and ship the motorcycle and equipment. I am paying my own ticket over, and the Mongol Ecology Center is not taking any of it for administration, it all goes directly to equipment for the rangers! 

I am trying to fund one motorcycle and equipment.  Each motorcycle and equipment, along with shipping, costs $7,550.   I am trying to raise enough to outfit one ranger.  Any additional money goes to buying a second motorcycle if I exceed my fundraising goal.  

If I raise additional funds, but not enough for an entire motorcycle and gear, the Mongol Ecology Center has agreed to pool it with the funds raised by other volunteers to fund another complete motorcycle.

How you can help

Donate, and donate big to get the very best benefit premiums!  Please share this with everyone you know as well.


Find This Campaign On
$1,785USD
raised in 1 month
24% funded
0 time left
Verified Nonprofit
$7,550 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 18, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Photo! Me drinking from lake!

    I'll email you a thank you photo of me drinking DIRECTLY from Lake Hovsgol. Why? Because you'll be "buying me a drink" from the lake. That's right, the lake is so clean you can drink directly from it without treating the water!

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $25USD
    Photo email with thank you

    I'll email you a personal thank you with a photo of something beautiful or cool that I see in Mongolia. I will need your email address of course.

    4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $40USD
    Hand drawn thank you card

    A thank you card, drawn by me and mailed to you via good old-fashioned post. It could be anything, but more than likely an animal. I can't promise how well I can draw, but no two cards will be the same!

    2 out of 10 claimed
  • $50USD
    Turkish soap in decorative tin

    Olive oil derived lovely soap in a beautiful decorative tin which I brought back from Istanbul. Use the soap, then use the tin for whatever else.

    1 out of 3 claimed
  • $50USD
    Me as a clown with goat!

    Yep. You heard it right. I'll mail a photo of myself, dressed up like a clown, with one of my goats. It could be cute, or creepy. Either way, it's bound to be disturbing to somebody. I'll mail it to anyone you want, whether I know them or not, as long as you provide their address. I may even write a short note of your choice on the back of the photo as long as I feel it isn't illegal.

    5 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $75USD
    Thank you photo in Mongolia

    A photo of me, in Mongolia, with something interesting or pretty, with a "thank you" and your name written on a white board, emailed to you privately or posted to your facebook, whichever you prefer.

    0 out of 20 claimed
  • $100USD
    Thank you photo with rangers

    A thank you photo of me standing with the park rangers who we will be delivering motorcycles to in Mongolia, emailed to you or posted to your facebook, whichever you prefer. Me, exhausted, after traveling 1,000 miles, standing with the very rangers who your donation will be helping!

    2 out of 15 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $150USD
    Signed ranger thank you photo

    A thank you (not personalized) photo and note from one of the park rangers who your contribution will be helping, hand written and autographed in Mongolian! Brought back from one of our organizers meeting with them in March in Mongolia and mailed to you in April.

    1 out of 8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $150USD
    Beautiful Turkish necklace

    A beautiful Ottoman-style bellydancing-type necklace from Turkey. This necklace is heavy. Made of zamak ( base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium, and copper).No nickel, so it's generally good for people who have nickel allergies (the most common metal sensitivity).

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • $200USD
    Goat walk in ex rail-yard

    Come take a walk on the semi-wild side with my goats in an over-grown abandoned rail-yard in Brisbane, California. You will definitely see goats, maybe jackrabbits, ground squirrels, hawks, graffiti, broken glass and pampas grass. Bring your lunch or drink, the goats can carry them! Be prepared to pee in the bushes as there are no toilets. Allow a couple of hours at least. Bring a friend.

    0 out of 5 claimed
  • $500USD
    Champagne hike with pack-goat

    Not for the whiner! This is a paved path but it's steep. It takes about an hour and a half to hike to the top, and we will take our time and rest as needed. The goat will carry the champagne and snacks. At the top you can see both the SF Bay and the Pacific Ocean, spectacular views. There is an outhouse at the top and we can go along the ridge for a while in either direction. You will need a car to get there, and I will transport the goat. Bring a friend.

    1 out of 2 claimed
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