Pategonian Park Promise

The nation of Chile is protecting 10 million acres of its most unspoiled and pristine land, by forging a unique partnership.

The deal was made possible with a one-million-acre donation by the Tompkins Conservation, founded by Doug Tompkins, of the outdoor clothing company,
The North Face, and his wife Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, former CEO of another outdoor clothing company, Patagonia.

For decades the couple purchased land across Patagonia, in an effort to restore and protect it from logging and intensive farming. Their contribution, is now combined with the Chilean government’s gift of 9 million acres, and will form Pumalín National Park and Patagonia National Park.

The parks will protect endangered species such as (way-mool) Huemul Deer, pumas, and llama-like guanacos, along with varied plant and aquatic life.
The move is a huge shift for Chile, which has a long history of enabling environmentally destructive industries that threatened to deforest the country.

“This is not just an unprecedented act of preservation,” says Chile’s president, Michelle Bachelet. “It is an invitation to imagine other forms to use our land. To use natural resources in a way that does not destroy them.”

International tourism to Chile has steadily increased over the past decade.
Many come to see the country’s dramatic landscape, laden with snow-capped mountains, winding rivers, expansive plains and diverse wildlife. This marriage of public and private guardianship strategy, will provide a model of conservation to the world, pushing sustainable development and ecotourism into the spotlight.

Chile plans to eventually link seventeen of their national parks into a 1,500-mile ecotourist route, from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn. The route would offer rain forest hikes, sea kayaking, mountaineering, glacial lake camping, wildlife viewing, and vivid star gazing.

This expanded park system not only preserves irreplaceable terrain, but is also expected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue as well as employ thousands in the region.