Kristine McDivitt Tompkins donated 1 million acres of private land as part of a 10 million acre addition to Chile’s national park system. This will add five new parks and expand three more and safeguard Patagonia’s wilderness, provide a boon to economic development in southern Chile, and continue to welcome Chileans and international tourists alike.
This conservation effort has been in the making for more than 25 years.
Chile has created five sprawling national parks to preserve vast tracts of Patagonia – the culmination of more than two decades of land acquisition by the US philanthropists Doug Tompkins and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins and the largest donation of private land to government in South America.
The five parks, spanning 10.3m acres, were signed into law on Monday by Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet, launching a new 17-park route that stretches down the southern spine of Chile to Cape Horn.
McDivitt Tompkins, the former chief executive of the outdoors company Patagonia, handed over 1m acres to help create the new parks. The Chilean government provided the rest in federally controlled land.