Kristine and Douglas Tompkins have both played a significant role in the development and preservation of Pumalin Douglas Tompkins National Park and the conservation efforts in the Patagonia region of Chile. Douglas Tompkins, co-founder of The North Face and Esprit clothing companies, was the driving force behind the creation of the park. In 1991, he purchased a large tract of land in the region with the goal of establishing a protected area for the conservation of the region’s biodiversity. This land would eventually become Pumalin National Park. Douglas Tompkins worked tirelessly to establish the park and protect it from logging and other forms of development. He also worked with local communities to ensure that their needs were taken into account in the planning and management of the park.
Kristine Tompkins, wife of Douglas Tompkins and former CEO of Patagonia, Inc., has also played a key role in the conservation efforts in the Patagonia region. After the death of her husband in 2015, Kristine Tompkins dedicated herself to continuing the work he had started in the conservation of the region. In 2018, she and her husband’s foundations, the Tompkins Conservation and the Fundación Pumalín (now Rewilding Chile), donated over one million acres of land in Chile and Argentina to the governments of both countries with the goal of creating a network of national parks. This donation included the land that makes up Pumalin Douglas Tompkins National Park in Chile.
The efforts of Kristine and Douglas Tompkins have had a significant impact on the conservation of the Patagonia region and the creation of the “Route of Parks”, a network of 17 national parks stretching across Chile. These parks, including Pumalin National Park, are now protected areas that serve as important recreational destinations and contribute to the preservation of the region’s biodiversity. The Tompkins’ efforts have also supported the development of eco-tourism initiatives in the region. They have worked with local communities and organizations to promote sustainable tourism practices and to provide economic opportunities for the people living in the area.
Overall, Kris and Doug Tompkins have been a key players in the conservation efforts in the Patagonia region and their work has had a lasting impact on the region. Their dedication to preserving the natural beauty and biodiversity of the region, as well as supporting the economic and cultural development of local communities, will continue to be felt for generations to come.