Parque Pumalin - Conservation Gift For The Future

Noticed a few readers having the odd reservations about Mr Dicaprio's eco-resort plans. Maybe they could bring Leo up to speed on Parque Pumalin. He may never have heard of Doug Tompkins but he'll probably know The North Face and Esprit. Well, Doug was once the owner of those brands. A keen climber, he had been on many trips to Chile's Patagonia and the wild beauty of land must've left a lasting impression on him. (As it had on his climbing buddy Yvon Chouinard, who named his outdoor clothing business Patagonia) Anyhow, an opportunity came up for Doug to buy 42,000 acres of ranch down that way. One thing lead to another and now there are 700,000 acres, forming two almost contiguous reserves called Parque Pumalin. This an eco-resort with a difference. The park is open to the public and has camping, cabins and many self-guided walking trails. With his wife, Kris (an ex-CEO of Patagonia - the company), Doug is engaging with the local folk in the running of the park, so cultural and natural conservation occur in tandem. There's a local park ranger development program and "small farms with productive activities such as animal husbandry, cheese making, honey production, ecotourism, wool handicrafts and organic gardens are simultaneously park stations and visitor information centers." The idea is to eventually turn the land over to the Chilean nation as natural asset of immeasurable wealth. If Leo can't get down to Pumalin, maybe someone can send him a copy of the July/August issue of the ever excellent Worldwatch magazine. It has an article (with some links online) on this and other such conservation philanthropy. Follow some of those links and you too can help purchase wildland biodiversity to be saved for perpetuity. ::Parque Pumalin