Protecting the worlds special places one motorcycle at a time.
A Simple Gesture
In 2013, former U.S. National Park Ranger Robert “Mac” McIntosh was volunteering with the Mongol Ecology Center assisting managers at Lake Hovsgol National Park near the Russian border with Mongolia. As they reviewed planning documents with the parks chief ranger Enkhtaivan a call came in – there was an illegal campsite discovered on park lands nearby. Mac watched helplessly as the chief ranger hopped on his motorcycle only to have it immediately break down. He could not do his job. This happened routinely, and Mac learned rangers across the country could not pursue or keep up with illegal poachers, miners, campers and other spoilers of the parks. He had seen enough. Mac told Wesley Thornberry, co-founder of Rally for Rangers Foundation, and Ono Batkhuu, founder of Mongol Ecology Center, that he would take it upon himself to buy a new motorcycle, ride it across Mongolia, and personally deliver it so Enkhtaivan could successfully and safely perform his job. Upon returning to the States, Wesley related this story to friends and asked “Who’s in?” Rally for Rangers was born.
A Growing Movement
The first rally in 2014 was truly an experiment. The outcome unpredictable. Find 15 riders to buy 15 motorcycles and ride them over 1,000 miles across the roadless northern steppe of Mongolia, all to give them away to park rangers in need. It had never been done. Before the first day off road was done, one rider was out with a broken collar bone. Two days later two more riders out. The sturdy Russian military-grade support truck quickly filling with bikes without a rider. Then came the rain, the mud, the sand. When the last mile was turned, just six of the original 15 riders were still astride their bike. But all 15 bikes were delivered, 15 rangers given a new lease on protecting their vast and sacred landscape. The inspiration of the effort was contagious, we had to keep doing this. And so we did.
By the end of 2021 Rally for Rangers will have delivered 150 new motorcycles to 13 parks in four countries – Mongolia, Argentina, Chile, and Bhutan. Adventurous philanthropists from around the world continue to flock to the movement – Mongolia, Russia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A., Canada, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, Lebanon, and more have represented their cultures in this effort.