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.

Wesley Thornberry, Co-Founder

Wesley is a founding member of the Rally for Rangers Foundation. Since its inception, as an avid motorcyclist, Wesley spearheaded the Rally for Rangers (part of Blue Waves campaign by the Mongol Ecology Center), raised awareness internationally about the National Parks of Mongolia and rides in all rallies. Wesley works with Tom Medema in organizing the rallies.
Wesley is the founder of Trend Digital, www.trend-digital.com, that specializes in post-production imaging services for e-commerce clothing and fashion retailers. Wesley is also a photographer, adventurer and traveler and has documented the tribes of Omo Valley, Ethiopia to the nomadic shamans of Mongolia. His work can be seen at www.wesleythornberry.com. He currently lives in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Tom Medema, Co-Founder

Tom Medema developed a passion for national parks at a young age on family vacations throughout the American west. This passion turned into a career as a park ranger spanning over 25 years. He is equally passionate about national parks and public lands around the world and has worked with parks and monuments in South America and Europe as a subject matter expert in the field of interpretation and education. The opportunity to support the development of relatively new national parks in Mongolia is an opportunity he is excited and humbled to be a part of.
Tom is a sports and outdoor enthusiast, spending much of his free time at his teenage kids volleyball, soccer, and alpine skiing events. Tom also loves two wheeled travel by mountain bike, road bike, and motorbike. Over the past 20 years he has owned Harley-Davidson and BMW bikes and is currently riding a KLX 400 on the back roads of the Sierra Nevada foothills in preparation for this epic and compelling adventure.

Unudelgerekh Batkhuu

Ono Batkhuu is a partner at UB International, which offers practical solutions and training on interpretation, sustainable tourism and protected areas management to create a long-lasting impact.
Before joining UB International, Ono worked as a founding director of Mongol Ecology Center (MEC) for nine years. Currently, she serves as a Founder & Co-Chair of the Board of Directors. MEC established Rally for Rangers (RfR) in 2014, a nonprofit effort that is committed to protecting the world’s special places by empowering rangers around the world with new motorcycles and equipment. To date, MEC and RfR have worked to strengthen the management of the protected areas and initiated various programs to advance conservation and education skills of the park staff, promote environmental leadership among youth, rehabilitate and expand park facilities, support tourism-related workforce development for local community members and build collaborative bridges between Mongolia, Europe, and America.
Ono is also a co-founder of “Ger” Youth Center, a non-profit organization that serves Mongolian children in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an alumna of the Executive Leadership Program of the National Parks Institute, a collaboration between Yosemite National Park, University of California Merced, and the US National Park Service. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide & Host Trainer by the National Association for Interpretation of the United States. In 2017, Ono served as an advisor to the Minister of Environment and Tourism.

Badral Yondon

Badral Yondon is the CEO of Mongolia Quest and oversees the company’s operations. His career in tourism began while he was a university student working as a porter at a hotel in Ulaanbaatar during the democratic revolution in 1990. Since then, Badral has emerged as a leader in the tourism industry of Mongolia and is committed to supporting the culture and heritage of his country while also protecting the bio-diversity of its fragile ecosystems. He graduated from the Foreign Language Institute in Ulaanbaatar and the Klessheim Tourism and Hotel Management School in Saltzburg, Austria. As one of the founding members of Mongolia Quest, Badral has explored much of Mongolia’s vast countryside, sharing his knowledge of Mongolia’s unique culture and biodiversity with many hundred visitor over last 25 years. He serves on the board of the Mongol Ecology Center, Mongolian Tourism Association and the Arts Council of Mongolia. Badral speaks fluent Russian and English.

Robert McIntosh

Robert retired from the National Park Service as an Associate Regional Director, Northeast Region where he directed planning, natural resource, historic preservation, capital construction and community partnership programs for the region. He has served on international projects in China, India and Mongolia. Robert served as the General Superintendent, Gateway National Recreation Area in New York/New Jersey and held various planning, policy and senior management positions throughout the country in the Department of the Interior – Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and later as the northeast regional director for the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service. Robert serves on the Boards of Lowell’s Boat Shop, the Mongol Ecology Center, the New Bedford Whaling History Alliance, and is a member of the Essex National Heritage Area Commission. Bob is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Distinguished Service Award.

Gary Cook

Gary, Director of Earth Island Institute’s Russian programs, has worked to nurture the growth of the Russian environmental movement as a whole, offering particular support to the many activists that are fighting to protect Lake Baikal.  Over the last 20 years, Earth Island and Gary have helped with the establishment and support of several dozen environmental groups located throughout Russia. In addition, Gary has served as advisor and partner for many other organizations working in Siberia, including the World Bank, the Global Environmental Facility, the United States government, numerous western NGOs (including the Tahoe-Baikal Institute, Earth Corps, Pacific Environment, etc.) as well as each of the eight national parks and nature reserves located within the greater Baikal region. Earth Island’s partners in the former Soviet bloc have used this help to lead a number of campaigns that protect the Siberian wilds, while promoting non-industrial development throughout the region.  Earth Island has already conducted some 40 international eco-tours to Russia.  In so doing it has brought profits to the nation’s struggling national parks, as well as to local environmental groups.   Earth Island has also been in the forefront of confronting oil and gas developments in northern Asia, as well as the many uranium and gold mining projects that are spreading to all parts of eastern Russia.  Finally, given the fact that over 40% of the Baikal watershed is located upstream in Mongolia, Gary and Earth Island have promoted greater trans-boundary cooperation between Russians and their Mongolian neighbors to the south. Gary serves on the board of the Mongol Ecology Center.

Mike Ferrell

Mike is a native of Raleigh, NC where he currently lives and spends time doing outdoor things with his girlfriend Caroline, their dog, Koda, a 40-lb Boston Terrier. His current ride is a 2017 Triumph Bonneville T120 and will probably tell you it’s his favorite bike ever. Mike is a producer, writer, and co-owner of TopTop Studio, a creative production studio based in Salt Lake City, UT. There are certain events in life that change its trajectory and traveling to Mongolia in 2018 and Nepal in 2019 with Rally for Rangers is that catalyst for Mike. However, riding motorcycles across beautiful terrain is tertiary when it comes to the work being done in the field and the opportunity to meet your tribe of life-long friends. Rally for Rangers gives Mike the opportunity to pursue his passion to protect the environment, ride motorcycles, and travel to connect with new people and different cultures.

Anna Kim

Anna grew up in San Diego but now lives near Ocean Beach in San Francisco where she leads operations for a construction robotics start-up. She owns both street and dirt bikes and while she doesn’t play favorites per se, is particularly enthralled by the newest addition to her garage (KTM 350 EXC). She endeavors to live an active life full of outdoor adventures and enjoys snowboarding, SCUBA, kiteboarding, traveling, and cooking for large groups of people. Anna has been a passionate supporter of Rally for Rangers since participating in the 2018 Mongolia Rally. She signed on thinking the Rally would be a fun way to explore an otherwise inaccessible country on two wheels, all while helping support conservationist efforts. And of course it was! What she didn’t expect was the strong sense of connection and community–with other riders, rangers and their families, support staff, and locals–that came out of that experience. She’s excited to continue supporting the organization as a rider in the rallies, but is also looking forward to doing as much as she can to support the Rally for Rangers mission through her work as a member of the Advisory Board.

Bryon Majusiak

Bryon grew up in Reno, Nevada, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for school where he spent a few more years than planned. He is now living on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe which brings him back closer to family including his two nephews. Bryon works for a subsidiary of John Deere, Blue River Technology, working in Ag Tech.  Outside of work (which doesn’t feel all that often these days), Bryon keeps busy by working on restoring and customizing cars (5) and motorcycles (9) as well as slowly remodeling a house. If he isn’t working on something, Bryon tries to spend the rest of his time outside hiking, dirt biking, or just enjoying nature. Bryon has been a supporter of Rally for Rangers for many years due to the impact it has on the Park Rangers who receive the bikes and the parks that they protect. He is inspired by worlds amazing and beautiful natural places and loves how bringing a new motorcycles allows a single park ranger to be much more effective at their job protecting those priceless natural places.

Ashley Myhre

Ash is a native of Texas but has spent most of her adult life in the Pacific Northwest. Exploring the trails as a kid on her XR70 gave way to adventure riding as an adult where she logged 15,000 miles off road on her first street legal bike. After graduating with a BA in Chemistry and pursuing a career in medicine her love of motorcycles and thirst for international travel was growing and eventually became all consuming. Her first international trip, riding through Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa set her on a path to see the world and meet everyone in it. In 2016 she landed at Mosko Moto and has since become its Brand/Creative Director. Ash became aware of Rally for Rangers first as a gear sponsor supporting the fundraising effort of the organization as well as providing bomber Mosko gear to the park rangers in Mongolia and elsewhere. She’s been so inspired by the work of outfitting park rangers with motorbikes and gear that she stepped up to join the Advisory board and bring her considerable skills to expand the work and reach of the organization.

Kirsten Midura

Kirsten has a background in sustainability, with a Masters in environmental science from the University of Melbourne and specializations in renewable energy, international development, and policy. After a career in energy consulting, Kirsten became immersed in the motorcycling scene through multiple endeavors: She is the Founder of Engines for Change, an organization that mobilizes motorcyclists to get involved in charity work. She is also an advocate for women’s empowerment through her work on the Leadership Board of Women Riders Now. She is a community builder through her work with the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and the MotoSocial, and she is a documentary filmmaker, as well as a part-time industry journalist, and a Judge Panelist for the Toronto Motorcycle Film Festival. Kirsten loves Rally for Rangers work because it is a seamless combination of the values she holds dear: environmental health, community engagement, sustainable development, and of course motorcycles. Kirsten rides a Triumph Street Triple, a Yamaha FJ09, a Kawasaki Versys, and any demo or loaner bike she can get her hands on.

Jeff Thresher

Jeff is a strategic and innovative experiential marketing professional with more than 15 years of developing and directing international product launches. His clients include Subaru, Volvo, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Suzuki, and Nikon. This work has taken him on adventures around the world from Magadan, Russia to Ushuaia, Argentina. The one thing missing was doing his part to make the world a better place. He filled this void by joining the 2018 Rally in Mongolia to help the Park Rangers of the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. He continued his support of the mission by helping plan the 2018 rally in Patagonia and was part of the logistical support team for riders throughout the trip. Jeff currently lives in Kirtland, OH, with his wife Margaret and their yellow lab Curtis. His hobbies include enduro racing on his KTM 200 XCW, guiding adventure motorcycle tours with MotoDiscovery, rally co-driving, skiing, biking, and hiking. Jeff has a BA and an MS from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Exercise Physiology.

Rob Tate

Rob is originally from Seattle and works for the Department of State as a foreign service officer. He has served in Japan, Romania, Niger, France, New Zealand, and Mongolia, accompanied by his wife and two daughters. When he was younger, he played in Seattle area rock bands and now enjoys playing old folk and jazz on an acoustic guitar.  Rob is proud to support Rally for Rangers because it offers real direct benefits to partners in national parks doing important work conserving natural spaces and wildlife.  He is a proud alumni of the 2019 rally, delivering a new Yamaha AG200 to a park ranger at Khar Us Lake. Rob grew up riding dirt bikes on the family farm and is still better at coming off than going fast. He has found memories of riding through Saharan desert sand in Niger with his two young kids on an old Yamaha DT 125. His last motorcycle was a bright yellow BMW F650GS in New Zealand that his kids mockingly called the rumblebee.