When Doug Tompkins (founding father of The North Face and Esprit clothes) left the enterprise world in 1989 and moved to Chile to buy land for conservation, he wasn’t seen as hero. He and his spouse Kris McDivitt Tompkins (former CEO of Patagonia, Inc.) have been seen with suspicion. However Doug and Kris have been dedicated to not solely defending, but in addition restoring the magnificent and fragile ecosystems of Patagonia. In Pumalín, they bought land that held Chile’s biggest focus of alerce bushes (cousins of our redwoods), and within the beautiful Chacabuco Valley, they acquired a large estancia (ranch) that had been closely overgrazed. With the assistance of volunteers, fences have been torn out, mountaineering trails have been created, and delightful park buildings have been constructed. Hundreds of alerce bushes at the moment are protected in Pumalín, and the “rewilding” of Parque Patagonia in Chacabuco has seen the numbers of native puma steadily rising. Greater than one million acres of land in Patagonia have been protected and restored over the previous 20 years.
In a shifting ceremony held in Pumalín on March 15, 2017, practically a yr and a half after Doug handed away, Kris Tompkins fulfilled their imaginative and prescient and donated the land to the nation of Chile—the most important land donation in historical past from a personal entity to a nation. Kris and Chilean president Michelle Bachelet additionally signed a pledge to create 11 million acres of recent parkland (the Chilean authorities plans so as to add 10 million acres to Tompkins Dialog’s donation). The mixed Chilean land now pledged for nationwide parks is 3 times bigger than Yosemite and Yellowstone mixed, and the federal government plans to finally hyperlink the 17 nationwide parks right into a 1,500-mile route known as the “Ruta de los Parques.” The conservation teams concerned in Chile’s new endeavor observe the identical philosophy that Doug Tompkins instilled in his life’s work: “no element too small”.
Parque Patagonia, one of many parks established underneath Tompkins Conservation and hailed as “South America’s Yellowstone,” is the scene for our latest journey, Patagonia’s Wild North. WT adventurers will likely be among the many first to hike its trails and marvel on the majesty of the park’s surreal landscapes (and gorgeous wildlife) and can play a vital half in supporting the conservation of this spectacular area. Wilderness Journey can be a donor to Tompkins Conservation.
If you happen to’ve ever traveled on this area or seen the dramatic photographs of Patagonia’s wild fjords, glaciers, and valleys, chances are you’ll agree with Tompkins Conservation—and now the nation of Chile—that this magnificent realm is value defending.
—Textual content by WT author Kirstina Bolton. Images supplied by Tompkins Conservation. To study extra concerning the Tompkins Conservation, go to www.tompkinsconservation.org.