Decades ago, Kristine
and Doug Tompkins
built businesses, including The North Face and Patagonia clothing brands, which reflected their environmental ethics. In addition to being models of corporate responsibility they were also incredibly successful.
So successful, in fact, that by the early 1990s the couple was able to move to southern Chile to focus their time and wealth on protecting the natural world. Over a quarter-century, until Doug’s death last year, they acquired more than 2.1 million acres of land for permanent conservation, including Pumalín Park, a 715,000-acre piece of Chilean rainforest considered the largest privately held preserve operated as a public park.
But now Kristine Tompkins, who will visit Yale this week, and her conservation organization, Conservacion Patagonica
, are entering a critical new phase. Earlier this year she donated
nearly 1 million acres of land to the Chilean government and another 370,000 acres to Argentina on the condition that they be used to create national parks that are open to the public.
On Wednesday, April 27, Tompkins visited Yale to address why she believes national parks are so important to biodiversity, people, and the planet. She also discussed her organization’s goal of donating three national parks to the Chilean government and why National Parks are the best choice for conserved land in Patagonia.
The talk, “Managing the World’s Largest Land Donation
,” was held in Burke Auditorium, Kroon Hall.