Formed in 2013 by a former U.S. National Park Ranger, Rally for Rangers is a nonprofit organization in which volunteers personally raise money to purchase new motorcycles, and then organize group rides across some of the most remote places on the planet to donate these bikes to international park rangers. The goal of the program is to stop the illegal poaching of endangered species and protect world heritage sites, one motorcycle at a time.
Built upon the belief that personal action is necessary for large-scale change to take shape, Rally for Rangers is now calling on like-minded activists to do their part by donating to a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 by March 22 to complete a documentary film to visually share the Rally for Rangers story and further protect national parks around the globe.
The documentary will be bold in its scope, aiming to capture the hard work and dedication of park rangers around the world, the beauty and significance of the endangered wildlife, and the cultural significance of these protected landscapes. Shared through the eyes of the volunteers who make up Rally for Rangers, the film will follow their personal risk and sacrifice as they deliver new motorcycles. With an overall goal of raising awareness, increasing support and ultimately helping more park rangers, at its essence, the documentary will be a call to action.
“I was fortunate to shoot some initial footage for this project in Nepal last Fall, and I was moved to the core not only by the grandeur and beauty of the country, but by its people and culture, as well,” said Eric Daft, creative director for the documentary. “The need for these bikes is real. Rally for Rangers has mobilized like-minded volunteers to make an immediate difference, and my hope is that this film can help shed light on just how critical the need is and how impactful their organization is on the ground.”
Each and every day, critically important natural and cultural resources are under threat around the globe. Endangered wildlife such as elephants, rhinoceros, tigers and snow leopards are poached while illegal mining, unsupervised development and illicit drug trade devastate pristine landscapes. Park rangers are on the front lines in this battle, and unfortunately, they are too often understaffed and under-equipped to succeed.
Rally for Rangers founder Robert McIntosh witnessed this firsthand while visiting Lake Hovsgol National Park near the Russian border with Mongolia as a local park ranger was unable to respond to illegal activities due to a mechanical failure of his motorcycle. In response, McIntosh personally purchased a new motorcycle the following year, as did 14 others, and the intrepid group rode their bikes across the roadless northern steppe of Mongolia delivering all 15 motorcycles to park rangers in need.
By the end of 2020, Rally for Rangers and its volunteers will have personally delivered and donated over 125 new motorcycles to national parks in Mongolia, Argentina, Nepal and Bhutan, helping to protect critically endangered species and threatened world heritage sites. Adventurous philanthropists from around the world continue to flock to the movement with riders from the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, Lebanon, Israel and more having represented their countries and cultures in this ongoing effort.
“This is a unique opportunity for individuals to be a part of something bigger, to play an active role in saving endangered species and protect some of the most beautiful places on the planet,” said Tom Medema, co-founder of Rally for Rangers. “And as a sincere thank you, Rally for Rangers has pulled together a number of rewards for donors including helmets, jackets, cameras, radios – even a signed rally photo coffee table book and customized Mongolian scroll.”
Interested individuals can learn more about Rally for Rangers and donate toward the production of the documentary by visiting kickstarter.com and searching for “Rally for Rangers” or navigate there directly at kickstarter.com/projects/888060257/rally-for-rangers-a-documentary-film. The goal is to raise $25,000 by March 22; Rally for Rangers greatly appreciates everyone’s contribution, whether it takes the form of monetary contributions or sharing this story via social and online channels.