Founder of The North Face Widow Donates Land to National Park


Christine Tompkins, widow of the American philanthropist and founder of The North Face brand Douglas Tompkins, offered this Wednesday the donation of 93,492 hectares of land to the Chilean state in the extreme south of the country, for the creation of a national park.

The tender added to the 407,000 hectares of forests and indigenous species that the Tompkins family ceded in 2017, in the largest private land donation in the country’s history, for the state of Chile to take over. public access.

“Thanks to a generous donation proposal to the Rebuild Chile Foundation, more than 93,000 hectares of Cabo Forward will be part of the creation of a national park. We are making progress in facing the climate crisis and in protecting biodiversity”, said Chilean President Gabriel Boric. on Twitter after meeting Kristen Tompkins.

With the transfer of ownership of the land, the family fulfills a long-held wish of Douglas Tompkins, who started his conservation project in southern Chile more than two decades ago and died in 2015 in a kayaking accident.

Founder of sports apparel and equipment brand The North Face and fashion brand Esprit, Douglas Tompkins quit his job to settle in Chilean Patagonia in the 1990s, fascinated by its wild and rugged landscapes.

At the beginning of his conservation project, many criticized him because they believed he would build a nuclear landfill there or establish a Jewish state.

Its forests and soil absorb 521 tons of carbon per hectare

In a statement, the Reconstruct Chile Foundation and Tompkins Conservation, which manage the late philanthropist’s legacy, explained that “the property to be donated, Cape Forward, is the southernmost point of the American continent, the last land before being submerged in the Strait of Magellan”.

Subantarctic forests cover 48% (coihue de Magallanes, Canelo, Ciprés de las Guaitecas) and 11% are peatlands (swamps).

In the text, they add: “Its forests and soils absorb 521 tons of carbon per hectare. It has populations as far south as the Huemul and also the Red Canquén, both in danger of extinction”.

Meanwhile, marine life is abundant and diverse on its coastline of more than 40 kilometers, thanks to the nutrients provided by the confluence of the Antarctic, Pacific and Atlantic currents, with the presence of humpback whales and the southern dolphin. And the Magellanic penguin.

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