In Kamchatka, much of the anti-poaching warden’s equipment is provided by WWF and other NGOs to keep the Kurilskoe Lake World Heritage Site poacher free. But they do not get money for free weights, so wardens strap together MI-8 and tank parts to use as weight-training equipment. The “weight bench” is a couple of discarded 50-gallon drums for aviation fuel.
These wardens were brought in from the Sochi area of Russia (Caucus Mountains) so that they would have no local contacts or ties to poaching brigades so they would clean up the area. Two or three of the wardens are always out on enforcement for over a month at a time. The official salary for a warden is $200 a month, but the WWF supplemented salaries and bought them equipment they need to do the job.
- RANDY OLSON
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- Kamchatka Salmon_ National Geographic Magazine 8/2009