Mother Nature doesn’t give a hoot about international park exchanges. When a delegation of park managers from Mongolia paid a Nature Conservancy-sponsored visit to Colorado National Monument earlier this month, the warm greeting they received from the park staff was matched with bitterly cold and snowy weather. This didn’t deter the seven Mongolians, the park staff, or TNC representatives.
Despite the minus 4 degree temperatures and a foot of fresh snow, [the Mongolians] felt right at home. They met with the maintenance and ranger staff and were intrigued by the skid-steer loader (Bobcat) moving snow and the rangers’ patrol rigs. They snapped almost as many pictures of the machinery as they did of the canyons and monoliths. The group spent another two hours in translated discussions with park superintendent, Joan Anzelmo, and her staff, covering the gamut of park operations with a focus on several elements of visitor services and park planning processes.
The Nature Conservancy has an office in Mongolia and is helping the Mongolian government with park protection models and connections to the land management agencies and professionals of the U.S.
Two other Colorado NPS units, Mesa Verde National Park and Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve, were also on the Mongolian delegation’s itinerary.