From the banks of the Yellowstone to taimen strongholds throughout Khuvsgul Province, TTF has had a busy year. We were proud to introduce a program created by Mrs. Chris Pavlovich, PhD candidate at Montana State University and teacher at East Side Elementary School in Livingston, Montana, to elementary educators across northern Mongolia.  The Watershed Warriors Program (WW) is an award-winning curriculum that provides hands-on, place-based, real-life applications to science while bestowing stewardship of and access to a student’s landscape and culture. 

Thanks to funding from the Trust for Mutual Understanding and your gracious donations, our inaugural WW Exchange was nothing short of a resounding success. Mrs. Uugnaa Purevdorj (of our partner organization, The Taimen Conservation Fund (TCF)), long-time educator Mrs. Muugi Byambajav, and Mr. Erdene Sainbayar, specialist in the Department of Education in Khuvsgul Province, visited Livingston to interact first hand with the WW curriculum.  In July, Chris, her colleague Mrs. Jessica Hanson and TTF Program Manager John Bailey led a multi-day teacher-training workshop on the headwaters of the Selenge River, hosting 17 educators over three days.

While in Mongolia in September, I had the opportunity to meet with the team and education officials in Moron.  Teachers from July’s workshop are today implementing WW in five school districts throughout Khuvsgul.  We’ve translated the entirety of the curriculum, and established a group Facebook page for students and teachers to share findings and experiences.  While visiting, I joined a 6th grade science class for macro invertebrate sampling.  I was overwhelmed by how rewarding the experience was to be with these eager and inquisitive students.

            Once again, your donations, and a generous grant from the Yellow Dog Conservation and Community Foundation (YDCCF), supported TTF’s flagship RiverKeepers Program.  Our anti-poaching effort, conducted in coordination with local herders and law enforcement throughout the Eg watershed is now a decade old!

As around the world, the spread of non-biodegradable waste has risen dramatically over the last few years in the Eg and in 2019 TTF sponsored our first river cleanup on the watershed.  TTF plans to engage with other conservation organizations and local citizens to organize river cleanups on the Eg River, spring 2020.

Looking forward, 2020 will be another great year for TTF as an organization.  We will conclude our genetics data gathering in the Shishged River with Mongolia-based NGO, Save the Taimen.  In addition, we will work closely in the first quarter of 2020 to identify a watershed or stretch of river that currently has no outfitting or enhanced protection.  It has become apparent that those watersheds that still have natural populations of fish need protection quickly in order to build-up buffer zones for established strongholds. This new program will take what we have learned in the Eg to create the RiverKeeper Recovery Program, much-needed for the continued conservation of wild taimen in Mongolia.         

Season’s Greetings from the TTF team. Please consider a donation towards our important work in Mongolia.  TTF is a registered 501c3 and donations are tax deductible. Use the envelope provided to send a check or take a peek at our website and donate online (www.taimenfund.org). Thank you one and all for all of your support and all the best in 2020.