Sister Parks: Ikh Nart Reserve and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Partners in Preservation.
Exhibit Location: ABDSP Visitor Center
In June 2008, Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in California became official sister parks. Dambachoibol Bold, the governor of Dalanjargal soum (district) that manages Ikh Nart, and our then-superintendent of Anza-Borrego, Mark Jorgensen, signed an official agreement that served to foster relationships between both protected areas. Through this agreement, the Anza-Borrego Foundation and some of its donors provide much-needed equipment (spotting scopes, cameras, GPS units, laptops and even motorcycles!) and uniforms to the staff of Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, while Anza-Borrego Desert State Park rangers donate their time and expertise to train the Reserve's rangers in anti-poaching and law-enforcement techniques.
The sister park agreement has resulted in the development of a ranger-training program. It has also facilitated collecting GPS coordinates for archeological sites and purchasing and placing Ikh Nart Reserve boundary signs. These activities have not only resulted in increased knowledge about the Reserve's natural and cultural resources but have also helped to reduce poaching of the Reserve's large mammals, such as the argali sheep (closely related to our own desert bighorn) and Siberian ibex.
Since 2008, every other year ABF has organized a small tour to Ikh Nart Reserve, led by Mark Jorgensen. After leading the trip, Mark and several other retired park rangers, active park rangers and ABF members have remained for an additional two weeks at Ikh Nart Reserve to assist the reserve staff with boundary sign placement, training, GPS point gathering and anything else with which the Reserve's staff and rangers need assistance. The Mongolians themselves determine what assistance will best meet their needs; ABF volunteers and rangers are there to help implement those requests.
This photographic exhibition is to celebrate and show some of the activities at the reserve, the staff at the reserve and the beautiful country that is Mongolia. These images were taken by Mark Jorgensen, Lynn Rhodes, Steve Bier, Phillip Roullard and Denise Zuranski. In addition there are images that show how there are geographical similarities in Anza-Borrego and Ikh Nart Reserve.