News & Events
Stay up to date on what’s happening in Altai and at The Altai Project.
Lake Teletskoye is the largest lake in Altai Republic (easily). It is a rift lake, created by seismic forces. That’s obvious when you see it, because there are cliffs along parts of the shoreline, and 90% of the shoreline we’ve seen so far is very, very steep. It is very deep, and its waters (mostly glacial […]
I can hardly believe that this trip is going by so quickly! Must be all the sleep I’m getting now that the jet lag has passed. Well, that and the fact that we’ve been covering so much ground and meeting so many interesting people. After a breakfast of noodle cooked in slightly sweet (powdered) milk […]
In the ail this morning we all shared a last breakfast consisting of buckwheat kasha, chunks of beef in a gravy, bread, butter, freshly harvested honey, and tea. It has been a very meat and bread-product intensive few days. Make that a week at least. I like my meat, but beef or lamb thrice daily […]
It rained softly on the yurt’s roof all night long, and luckily I didn’t notice the small, quiet drip onto the foot of my bed until morning. After breakfast, we piled into the Gazelle van and slip and skidded in the mud back to the main packed gravel road. Danil led us on a tour […]
After breakfast and a few goodbyes on the morning of the 27th, we set forth on the first leg of our “West-East Transect” excursion. Our group of twelve (nine visitors and an interpreter, leader, and driver) piled into a Gazelle – the equivalent of a large American minivan, but without the comforts. This vehicle was […]
After breakfast yesterday, we all piled into the bus and drove 20 minutes east down the valley, crossing over the Katun River and into the village of Verkhniy Uimon (oo-ee-mon’). I’ve been here several times, but it’s always worth another visit. It was settled 300-odd years ago by Russian Orthodox “Old Believers” fleeing repression in […]
Yesterday’s meetings did indeed devolve into discussions, but I missed almost all of it. Well, with the exception of an early brainstorming session about determining the geography of climate change adaptation and a “mega-corridor” for wildlife. Considering that we were discussing the Altai-Sayan ecoregion here in south-central Russia, western Mongolia, China’s Xinjiang Province, and far […]
During an overly technical set of presentations yesterday afternoon, I took the opportunity to slip out for a walk and talk with a colleague. We set out on the rickety wire suspension footbridge across the Koksa River adjacent to our hotel. I’ve never been fond of these sorts of bridges, the way they bounce and […]
When I reach Altai following the visa debacle, the actual work of the trip begins. In overview, my trip has a number of phases and goals. Overall, I am hoping to meet with as many conservation folk as I can, renewing contact with existing colleagues and cultivating new relationships as well. The first part of […]
Illegal Hunting Case Reopened After Huff 12 November 2009, By Maria Antonova Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin reopened an investigation Wednesday into whether charges should be filed against survivors of a party of government officials who were illegally hunting endangered sheep when their helicopter crashed in January. Bastrykin’s announcement came as an outcry grew over his […]
In 2009 Earth Island Institute received a grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding for The Altai Project’s Natural Building Intensive to be conducted in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks to this grant we were able to bring Russian architects to the United States in order to deepen their understanding and expertise in natural […]
Existing Federal System Said a Threat to Rights of All Russia’s Citizens 05 May 2009 By Paul Goble / Special to The Moscow Times The existing system of ethnic autonomies in the Russian Federation — including both republics, such as Tatarstan, and autonomous districts, such as Chukotka — “violates the civil rights” of all Russian […]
Prosecutors Investigate Altai Hunt 06 May 2009/The Moscow Times Prosecutors said Tuesday that they have opened an investigation into senior federal and regional officials purportedly hunting illegally from a helicopter in January when the aircraft crashed in the Altai region, killing seven. The four survivors of the Jan. 9 crash, in which the Kremlin’s envoy […]
It looks like we finally have a bit of action by the federal government on the helicopter crash/poaching incident, albeit not all we could have hoped for. I don’t have time for lengthy exact translation today – maybe the Moscow Times will help us out overnight. Quick rundown/rough translation of the first article below my […]
In August 2008 we saw ourselves back on the plane to Siberia. This was our second trip as a group of builders and teachers to this far and exotic place we now consider our most remote home away from home. Paul Koppana (Crestone, CO), Cindy Smith (Durango, CO) and myself, Jeff Ruppert (McKinleyville, CA) were […]
The Chicago Tribune ran a story today on the small but thriving maral deer horn industry in Altai. While I’m not a huge fan of the stuff myself (it’s mostly aimed at men), I recognize that it’s a reasonable industry for people in the region. It’s only major downside (that I can think of) is that […]
(It means “at the mouth of the Chuya River”) On what we thought was our last day in the Karakol Valley, we woke up to warm sunshine. Very exciting after all that rain. We didn’t really have time to get out and enjoy the morning, b/c we were expecting several folks to arrive for a […]
We had a pleasant, safe (read “reasonable speed”) trip to Ongudai. We were a bit stressed out, b/c we were trying to meet up with the film crew and they kept changing their schedule such that they were ahead of us. At this point, we could catch up with them IF they didn’t set out […]
Despite attempts by a shady cab driver to take advantage of us, we paid a fair price for a hair-raisingly fast taxi ride to Chemal, about an hour from Gorno-Altaisk. Chemal is, as always, stunningly beautiful but is more and more built up. It really does look like Switzerland, albeit with smaller mountains. It has […]
I forgot to mention that on our red-eye flight from Moscow to Barnaul we sat across the aisle from a group of four men traveling together. It seems that three of them had traveled from Barnaul to accompany the fourth home from Moscow. It seems he had recently been released from prison. Note: Russian airplanes […]
Our late and complex arrival at an amazingly bad hotel in Gorno-Altaisk prompts me to catch up on the travel diary…but first a recap of the initial days. We arrived in Barnaul at 5am Saturday morning only somewhat haggard and sleep-deprived. A’s friend and architect colleague Lena N (and her stodgy but friendly boss) met […]
Since leaving my job at PE last summer, I’ve transitioned smoothly into a variety of consulting activities. Among other brief projects, I’ve interpreted for a visiting group of public health specialists (Sep 06) and organized and co-executed (and interpreted during) another exchange for Russian environmental types in December. I’ve taken on a part-time position with […]
This little vignette is going to be published in the forthcoming Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Cookbook. Not exactly sure of the title though… I learned how to cook in Moscow. In the spring of 1992, immediately after the break-up of the Soviet Union, I was living in a run-down 15-story dormitory with 13 other American […]
Here’s my report from a recent Pacific Environment event that I planned and executed. You’ll see that I don’t get much in the way of a mention, but that’s mainly because I did almost all the interpreting and all the running around. It was a ton of fun and I learned a lot too! Alternative […]
I’m wrapping up preparations for my next adventure in Russia, July 8-27. This trip is a departure from “the usual” for me, as I’ll be shepherding two gentlemen from a small family foundation that supports Pacific Environment’s work in the Altai region. They’ve never been to Russia before, and this means that I get to […]
Help support Altai’s nature and people.
Help grassroots conservation efforts in Altai, Altaian indigenous peoples, public education and outreach in Altai and abroad, and efforts to protect sacred sites and cultural monuments.
Volunteer With Us
Contact us to learn more. We are often able to develop rewarding internships and volunteer projects for enthusiastic and independent-minded volunteers.