President of Chile and CEO of Tompkins Conservation Sign Decrees Creating 10 Million Acres of New National Parks

This includes Tompkins Conservation’s two flagship parks, Patagonia and Pumalín


January 29, 2018 — Patagonia Park, Chile

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, President and CEO of Tompkins Conservation, today signed the decrees creating Pumalín National Park and Patagonia National Park Chile. The one million acres and world-class infrastructure they contain have been billed as the largest donation of land from a private entity to a country.

This marks the culmination of the pledge that President Michelle Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins signed in March 2017 to create a network of five new national parks in Chile and the expansion of three others. Together, they are adding a total of more than 10 million acres of new national parklands to Chile, with one million acres of land from Tompkins Conservation and an additional 9 million acres of federal land from Chile. For scale, that is more than three times the size of Yosemite and Yellowstone combined, or approximately the size of the country of Switzerland.


The Chacabuco Valley, Patagonia Park. Photo: James Q Martin

The signing of these decrees cements Chile as one of the global leaders in conservation today, a vision which President Bachelet touched on in her speech today. “With these beautiful lands, their forests, their rich ecosystems, we…expand the network of parks to more than 10 million acres. Thus, national parklands in Chile will increase by 38.5% to account for 81.1% of Chile’s protected areas.”

“I am proud of my husband Doug and his vision which continues to guide us, in addition to our entire team, for completing these two national parks and the broader network, a major milestone of our first 25 years of work,” Kristine Tompkins said. “While we will continue to help promote and safeguard these parks, we are beginning to turn our attention to more new conservation and rewilding projects in Chile and Argentina as we work to save and restore big, wild and connected ecosystems.”

Patagonia National Park Chile and Pumalín National Park will be key destinations in the network of parks of Chilean Patagonia. These parks are already open to the public, welcoming visitors from Chile and around the world to experience Patagonia’s natural beauty, which will now be permanently protected for all visitors and the creatures that call these parks home.


Pumalín Park. Photo: James Q Martin

From its inception, Tompkins Conservation’s objective has been to donate privately acquired land to parks systems to be protected at the highest level of conservation for generations to come. To date, the organization and its partners have protected roughly 13 million acres of land to parks systems in Chile and Argentina, where they have worked with local and national governments, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, activists, conservationists and their local staff to achieve permanent conservation.

About Tompkins Conservation: Tompkins Conservation collaborates with the governments of Chile and Argentina, local organizations, and communities to create national parks— places of beauty, abundant wildlife, and recreation that serve as sources of income and pride to neighboring communities and the entire nation. For more information see or visit us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Pumalín Park. Photo: James Q Martin

Tompkins Conservation was founded by Kristine and Douglas (1943–2015) Tompkins, business leaders from iconic American clothing brands including The North Face, Esprit, and Patagonia, Inc., who changed the course of their lives more than 25 years ago to devote their funds, time, and passion to fight the biggest crisis in the world: biodiversity loss. After careful analysis, Kristine and Douglas concluded that creating large national parks where evolutionary processes could take their course was the most effective way to combat this loss. National parks represent the “gold standard” of biodiversity conservation, offering a unique set of ecological attributes, cultural values, ​​and economic benefits to local communities, while also guaranteeing long-term conservation. Tompkins Conservation is the leader in the Americas in what is known as “rewilding,” restoring natural ecosystems and reintroducing wildlife that has disappeared from a region because of human pressures.

Press Contact:

Alison Kelman

Communications Director


Patagonia Park. Photo: James Q Martin


Filed under Park Creation

11 Responses to President of Chile and CEO of Tompkins Conservation Sign Decrees Creating 10 Million Acres of New National Parks

  1. Daniel Ross


  2. Chase Canade

    Wow! Very impressive!
    Thank you to the Tompkins. The world owes you thanks for this. It looks stunning.

    I would love to fly over and film the area in 4k. As I’m sure others would. Question is, is Chile going to deem this a No Fly Zone as they have other parks?

  3. You rock! This is such great news and boy do we need it. Sending love and gratitude, Anne

  4. thanks so much for the wonderful donation. I’m deeply touched.
    I would like to know how I can support your cause either working or donating some of my time to the Conservation. Let me know.
    sandra corso

  5. Excellent work! Very interesting. In 1970 I was supposed to the the Civil Engineering advisor to the Chileno Navy. Then Pres. Allende was elected and the US bailed out. I did not go, a personal tragedy as we were building a medical clinic at Punto Arenas. JB

  6. Donald Gillespie

    Thank you. I will give my small contributions toward conservation and dream of these places. And a question, I think the North Face brand is now a VF Corp brand. VF located here in Greensboro, NC. Does VF or it’s individual brand contribute toward the efforts to conserve?

  7. Keith Meredith

    Dear Kristine,
    Thank you for this enormous gift to our world. You shame all the Trumps of this planet who want to rip, dig, and tear the planet up, like the maggots they are.
    I am a travelled Welsh / American, & have only read about the incredible beauty of Patagonia which was on my bucket list.. I am now in my mid 70s and in poor health. I know that next time around, this beautiful place will still be there and in GOOD hands.

  8. Jane Isaacson

    I just want to let you know that when I saw the article in the New York Times today, it made me cry. Tears of joy! Thank you!

  9. Hello,
    How can I communicate with International conservationist and former CEO of Patagonia, Inc

  10. Salpi Adrouny

    Dear Kristine Tompkins,
    Today is March 6, 2018.
    I have jut returned from visiting Patagonia with the wonderful travel group, Overseas Adventure Travel. I am also a great admirer of Dr. E.O. Wilson and his “Half Earth’ concept .I cannot thank you enough for your visionary generosity. I alo just heard you interviewed on ‘Here & Now” on NPR.
    Thank you for the bottom of my heart for your gift of National Parks in S. America.
    At a time when this current Administration is eroding away at our National Parks and Monuments, humanity needs and is so lucky to have people like you!
    Very sincerely,
    Salpi Adrouny
    Johns Creek, Ga.

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