Katon-Karagay national park
In the summer of 2001 a huge 1300-square-kilometre area in the Altai was declared a national park. It includes almost the entire territory between the borders with Russia and China , the villages of Soldatovo and Medvyedka and the northern slopes of the Sarymsaktiy and Tarbagatay.
Though Katon-Karagay National Park does not have the strictest protective status, it has improved the situation by imposing more severe penalties on poachers and hunters of the endangered species that inhabit this region.
This measure became necessary because of the increasing impact of steadily growing tourism, and because of the increasing exploitation of natural resources by the local population during the 1990s. It's important to note that most of the families in this area's villages are extremely poor; many move out and head for the cities, and the villages begin to stagnate, while those who remain take what they need for their daily survival from the forest.
When traders, mainly Chinese, began 10 come in increasing numbers illegally to buy maral antlers, brown bear bile, and the ascent glands of certain rare species, the temptation to poach animals was strong, as a single animal could garner a poacher the equivalent of a month's income.
Inevitably the wildlife populations of threatened species declined, but as penalties became more severe, poaching has become less appealing.
Other measures have also been employed to combat the problem; the most significant is the successful "farming domestic marals for the medicinal extract pantocrine that is found in abundance in then newly formed antlers.
The region's main town, also called Katon-Karagay is situated on the Narym Valley floor. Small and neat, it has a tiny museum dedicated to the famous Kazakh novelist Oral
Khan Bokeh who was born here and lived in a tiny house that houses the museum, displaying paraphernalia Bokeh's life, including gifts presented to him from admirers during his travels. There is talk of an airport being built in the valley near to Katon-Karagay; this would of course result in development and economic progress for the local population, but responsible tourism growth is a must.
Local officials seem to understand this, and hope to develop tourism models that preserve the ecology and culture while allowing more visitors into the region, improving living standards for local people without causing irrevocable damage to their land.
The guidebook across Kazakhstan . Authors Dagmar Schreiber and Jeremy Tredinnick.
Publishing house "Odyssey".2010. The information from this book is given by author Dagmar Schreiber.
Peak Belukha (Н-4506)
Road to lake Rahmany
White beauty the river Berel
The guest house on lake Yazevoe
The Katun range