Glacier Builds Sister Park Relationship with Mongolian Park

Delegation from Gorkhi-Terelj National Park in Mongolia visited Glacier for five days last month

Glacier National Park and Gorkhi-Terelj National Park in Mongolia signed a sister park agreement Oct. 24 to promote international cooperation.

A delegation from Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and the Mongolian Department of Protected Areas Management visited Glacier National Park for five days last month. The Mongolian delegation included two members of the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism and four staff. Glacier National Park volunteers and past employees Fred and Lynne Vanhorn provided primary logistical support for the delegation.

Glacier National Park has had a sister park agreement with the Khan Khentii Protected Area in Mongolia, located just north of Gorkhi-Terelj, since 2004. The Khan Khentii Protected area was divided into two parts in 2013, one of which is Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is located in Northeast Mongolia, 23 miles from Ulaanbaatar, the nation’s capital.

“The purpose of the sister park relationship is to … provide a forum for collaboration about shared challenges, enrich the experience and training of park personnel through international exchanges and to share the cultural and social values of both countries,” according to a statement from Glacier Park officials.

Mongolia and Montana are located at the same latitude and have similar landforms, ecosystems and wildlife, according to a press release. The similarities provide a unique platform for international cooperation and information sharing, it states.

The parks will collaborate on a variety of projects, including education and youth programs, GIS mapping and trails development, threatened species protection, and the development of adaptive strategies in response to climate change.

During the visit, the Mongolian delegation toured the park and met with park staff and the park’s nonprofit partners. They also worked with park staff to assemble a ger, which is a type of yurt that the Mongolian Ministry of Environment gifted to Glacier National Park several years ago. The Glacier National Park Conservancy supported the visit, covering local expenses associated with their visit to the area.

For additional park information, visit the park’s website http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.