Our Blue Waves Campaign was launched by the Lake Hovsgol Conservancy and the Mongol Ecology Center on October 31, 2013. It is part of a larger effort to celebrate and raise awareness of the global significance of Lake Hovsgol National Park. Our goal is simple: to rally an audience that is worldwide, and then support, fully equip, and train the park rangers who are working to preserve this magnificent ecosystem.
Why Lake Hovsgol and its Ecosystem?
Nomadic tribes were first attracted to the beauty of Blue Pearl some 4000 years ago. Visitors today still come across many cultural artifacts that remain strewn around the park. Mongolians also call Lake Hovsgol, the Mother Sea, for it contains 70% of Mongolia’s (and 1% of the Earth’s) freshwater. Surrounded by forests, the water entering the lake can take 500 years to exit via the one outlet: the Eg River. Recognizing the cultural and ecological value of the region, in 1992 the Mongolian government formed Lake Hovsgol National Park. This Park encircles the lake and covers 1.2 million hectares (or 2.5 million acres) – making it bigger than Yellowstone National Park in the US.
What is Rally for Rangers?
One of the key events in our Blue Waves campaign is Rally for Rangers. This Rally helps us raise funds to purchase new motorbikes and gear for rangers— which they then use to patrol National Parks of Mongolia.
In 2014, we were able to present an array of new motorcycles for Lake Hovsgol National Park. A team of 15 intrepid riders from around the globe—from America, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Mongolia—participated in this cross-country trek. They rode 1500 miles through the Mongolian highlands, ultimately delivering the motorcycles to park rangers.
In 2015, our campaign team is raising funds to equip 20 more park rangers in Tengis Shishged, Ulaan Taiga and Horidol Saridag National Parks—all key protected areas adjacent to Lake Hovsgol and larger part of the ecosystem.
How did it all start?
Robert McIntosh (we call him Mac) is co-founder of the Lake Hovsgol Conservancy. He has volunteered with Mongol Ecology Center at Lake Hovsgol National Park since 2011. Inspired by the park rangers’ passion for their work, Mac was determined to help them. In 2013, after seeing the Chief Ranger’s worn-out motorcycle break down while chasing illegal campers, Mac turned to our team and said “I am going to buy a bike, ride it all the way to the lake, and give it to this ranger. Are you in?” That’s how the Blue Waves Moto Rally for Rangers started. Not a stranger to motorcycles, Mac rode his own motorcycle from Africa’s Cape Town to Cairo early in his National Park Service career. In 2014, as planned, he rode one of the 15 bikes to Lake Hovsgol, and delivered a brand new (properly broken-in) motorbike to the Park’s Chief Ranger.