MILESTONES | 1989–Present |

In three decades we have made a lot of progress. Learn more about our history through this timeline of milestones.


| 2023 |

14 cubs have been born so far in Rewilding Argentina’s Jaguar Reintroduction Project, which is recovering jaguars in Iberá and El Impenetrable Parks in northern Argentina.

Cape Froward: The government of Chile accepted a donation of 230,000 acres on Cape Froward to create a future national park, it would be the first for Punta Arenas.

| 2022 |

Peninsula Mitre | In Argentina, legislators of Tierra del Fuego Province passed a law to permanently protect Peninsula Mitre. The last tip of the continent, it’s home to intact kelp forests and one of the largest peat reserves of South America, two powerhouse ecosystems crucial to planetary climate stability.

First jaguar cubs born in the wild | The first wild birth of jaguars has been documented after the species went locally extinct in Northeast Argentina’s Corrientes Province 70 years ago, the product of two jaguars from Rewilding Argentina’s first-of-a-kind rewilding program.

Two Andean condors are released in Patagonia National Park in a joint collaboration with Fundacion MERI and Proyecto Manku, joining one of the largest known populations of Andean condors.

Massive wildfires rooted in climate change destroy 60% of Ibera National Park, decimating wildlife and threatening the rewilding program of Rewilding Argentina.

| 2021 |

First jaguar is released into the Ibera wetlands after a 70-year absence. Mariua, a rehabilitated jaguar of wild origin, was freed together with her two cubs born at the Jaguar Reintroduction Center on San Alonso Island. Throughout the calendar year, five more jaguars were released to form a foundational population of eight.

The first giant otter cubs are born in the Ibera Wetlands to parents of captive origin, these top aquatic predators, last seen in the 1980’s in Argentina, will be released as a family.

Our partners in Chile, formerly known as Tompkins Conservation Chile, become the independent nonprofit Rewilding Chile, dedicated to continuing and expanding the work started by the Tompkins in the early 1990’s with a focus on rewilding.

| 2020 |

Conservation Land Trust–Argentina rebrands as “Rewilding Argentina” and prepares to reintroduce jaguars and giant otters into the Iberá wetlands.

| 2019 |

Three Tompkins-founded nonprofits—Foundation for Deep Ecology, Conservation Land Trust, and Conservacion Patagonica—are legally merged into a single entity, Tompkins Conservation. Tompkins Conservation transfers management of Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park and Patagonia National Park to the Chilean government.

Tompkins Conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Government of Chile announce an agreement to create an innovative fund—called “Route of Parks: Protecting Patagonia Forever”—to ensure the future conservation of the region’s national parks and strengthen the surrounding communities.

| 2018 |

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins sign decrees to create a network of five new national parks in Chile and expand three others, adding a total of more than 10 million acres of new national parklands to Chile’s system of protected areas. A gift of roughly 1 million acres from Tompkins Conservation prompted the deal.

As part of the Chilean parklands deal, President Michelle Bachelet creates “Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park,” honoring the conservation legacy of Doug Tompkins.

Two jaguar cubs are born at the Jaguar captive breeding facility operated by Rewilding Argentina at Iberá Park. They are the first of their kind born in the region in decades.

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins meets with Pope Francis to discuss conservation, climate change, and the idea of fostering peace between humanity and the rest of our wild neighbors on Earth.

The Patagonia National Park Visitor Center and Museum opens to the public.

After a campaign by conservationists including Rewilding Argentina, the National Congress approves the creation of the country’s first two marine national parks. Culminating decades of work by Rewilding Argentina team members and other conservationists, the National Congress passes legislation creating Iberá National Park in Corrientes Province. With the adjacent Iberá Provincial Park, the combined 1.76-million-acre Iberá Park is the largest nature park in Argentina.

Kristine Tompkins is named the United Nations Environment Patron of Protected Areas.

| 2017 |

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins sign a pledge to dramatically expand Chile’s national parks through an unprecedented public-private partnership.

Chile’s Council of Ministers for Sustainability approves the creation of the Route of Parks of Patagonia, agreed to and signed by Kristine Tompkins and President Michelle Bachelet. The Route of Parks of Chilean Patagonia is a 1,700-mile scenic route that extends from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn encompassing 28 million acres of protected areas and 17 national parks.

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins receives the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, awarded for the first time to a nature-focused philanthropist.

Tompkins Conservation donates more than 103,000 acres for the future Iberá National Park in northern Argentina, the second major land donation for the park.

| 2016 |

Kris Tompkins accepts the BBVA Foundation Award for Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America.

| 2015 |

In Chile’s Chacabuco Valley, after a decade of concerted effort to restore the land, recover wildlife populations, and build public-access infrastructure, Patagonia Park is inaugurated.

Rewilding Argentina translocates ten collared peccaries for reintroduction at Iberá Park, hoping to reestablish a population of that native species, which had long been extirpated.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes Protecting the Wild, which explores the vital role of protected areas in fighting the extinction crisis.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes the photo-format book Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot as centerpiece of the Global Population Speak Out, led by Population Media Center.

Following years of study, preparation, and construction, CLT–Argentina (now Rewilding Argentina) launches its effort to return jaguars to Iberá. A captive breeding enclosure for the big cats at San Alonso Reserve welcomes the first jaguars.

After being caught in a Patagonia storm while kayaking, Doug Tompkins dies of hypothermia, prompting an outpouring of media attention around the globe.

| 2014 |

Fundación Yendegaia (one of the Tompkins philanthropies) donates 94,000 acres in Tierra del Fuego to be incorporated into the new Yendegaia National Park. The gift leverages adjacent government land, establishing a new protected area of roughly 370,000 acres.

Wildfires rip through 7,000 acres of Patagonia Park. Park staff and local officials collaborate to contain the blaze.

Following years of work by CLT–Argentina, the National Congress of Argentina votes unanimously to establish El Impenetrable National Park.

After seven years of opposition to proposed river-killing dams, the Patagonia Sin Represas campaign celebrates victory. Tompkins Conservation was a key strategic and funding partner for the campaign.

Conservation Land Trust publishes Perito Moreno National Park, a photo-format book celebrating the park’s expansion via a Tompkins land donation.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes the multi-author volume Keeping the Wild in collaboration with Island Press.

Conservation Land Trust publishes Iberá: the Great Wetlands of Argentina, a photo-format book capturing the extraordinary biodiversity of the Iberá marshlands.

The National Congress of Argentina votes to create Patagonia National Park, which includes crucial habitat for the endangered hooded grebe, in Santa Cruz Province.

| 2013 |

Doug Tompkins and the Conservation Land Trust donate roughly 37,000 acres to expand Argentina’s Perito Moreno National Park.

Pumalín Park’s new administrative office opens in El Amarillo, replacing the former visitors center and office that were closed when Chaitén was evacuated due to a volcanic eruption.

Conservation Land Trust–Argentina publishes Giant Anteater: A Homecoming to Corrientes, recounting the successful reintroduction of giant anteaters to the Iberá marshlands.

| 2012 |

As part of a campaign to have Chile’s southern highway formally designated as a scenic road, The Carretera Austral: South America’s Most Spectacular Road is published.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth in partnership with Post Carbon Institute.

After years of work, Pumalín Park staff complete repairs to damaged park infrastructure resulting from the Chaitén Volcano eruption.

A guard dog program is launched to help ranchers near the future Patagonia National Park protect their livestock against predators.

| 2011 |

Patagonia Park’s Westwinds Campground and Lagunas Altas and La Vega trails are completed.

A retrospective report on the first 20 years of Tompkins conservation work is published.

| 2010 |

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories to shine a spotlight on inhumane and ecologically destructive factory farms.

Construction begins of the trail system and first major campground at the future Patagonia National Park.

| 2009 |

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes the book Plundering Appalachia: The Tragedy of Mountaintop-Removal Coal Mining, documenting the coal industry’s assault on Appalachia’s land and people.

| 2008 |

An additional 21,000 acres for the future Patagonia National Park is purchased, and the park’s wildlife team initiates research on interaction between huemul deer and pumas.

Conservation Land Trust–Argentina’s rewilding team works to reestablish populations of giant anteaters and Pampas deer in the Iberá marshlands.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes Wildlands Philanthropy, which celebrates natural areas saved by American conservationists using private funding and initiative.

In the heart of Pumalín Park, the Chaitén Volcano erupts, prompting evacuation of nearby communities; ash deposition and associated flooding cause extensive damage to park infrastructure.

| 2007 |

Biologists with CLT–Argentina translocate giant anteaters to the Iberá marshlands, where they had been extirpated for decades.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation to document the growing motorized assault on U.S. public lands.

With a coalition assembled to fight proposed dams in Patagonia, the Tompkins Conservation team produces the book Patagonia, Chilena ¡Sin Represas! (Patagonia, Chile, Without Dams!).

| 2006 |

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy, which promotes wildfire as a vital ecological agent in healthy ecosystems.

| 2005 |

Fundación Pumalín, a Chilean nongovernmental organization, is incorporated to hold the land and manage Pumalín Park. President Ricardo Lagos visits Pumalín to dedicate it as an official Nature Sanctuary under Chilean law.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes The Selected Works of Arne Naess, a ten-volume series collecting key writings of the Norwegian philosopher and father of deep ecology.

Our wildlife program in Patagonia National Park, Chile, launches with an aim to monitor and protect endemic species such as the huemul deer.

Conservation Land Trust and Peter Buckley donate property near the Corcovado Volcano to the Chilean people to become the heart of a new Corcovado National Park, protecting 730,000 acres.

| 2004 |

Under the leadership of Kris Tompkins, Conservacion Patagonica (now Tompkins Conservation) launches the Patagonia National Park project, purchasing Estancia Valle Chacabuco, a 175,000-acre sheep ranch in Chile’s Aysen Province.

| 2003 |

Several Tompkins-owned properties including ranches that help buffer the Iberá marshlands undergo restoration and transition to sustainable, organic production.

| 2002 |

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture and Welfare Ranching: Subsidized Destruction of the American West.

Doug Tompkins purchases an Argentine forestry company, thus acquiring various tree plantations and cattle ranches totaling more than 272,000 acres.

| 2001 |

The Foundation for Deep Ecology makes more than 100 grants, totaling $2 million, to groups working to protect biodiversity, promote ecological agriculture, and oppose megatechnology and globalization.

| 2000 |

Kris Tompkins founds the Patagonia Land Trust, a public charity incorporated in California, dedicated to preserving biodiversity and creating parklands. The organization’s name is later changed to Conservacion Patagonica (CP). CP funds the purchase of 165,000 acres of land that is then donated to the Argentine National Parks Administration to create Monte León National Park.

| 1999 |

The Foundation for Deep Ecology conceives and funds the Turning Point Project, an advocacy campaign that publishes 25 full-page ads in The New York Times. Topics include the extinction crisis, industrial agriculture, economic globalization, and biotechnology.

| 1998 |

Conservation Land Trust and partners provide funding to buy the Estancia Yendegaia in Tierra del Fuego.

CLT–Argentina, a subsidiary of the Conservation Land Trust, is founded to administer land and wildlife recovery projects in Argentina.

| 1997 |

Conservation Land Trust begins a major project in northeastern Argentina’s Corrientes Province by purchasing a cattle ranch in the middle of the Iberá wetlands.

| 1996 |

Conservation Land Trust continues land purchases for Pumalín Park; the vast majority of the acreage is purchased from absentee landowners.

| 1995 |

The Foundation for Deep Ecology-initiated International Forum on Globalization (IFG) is spun off as an independent nonprofit; it organizes a multiday teach-in on globalization in New York City with FDE support.

| 1994 |

Doug Tompkins and Kristine McDivitt (now Kristine McDivitt Tompkins) marry and begin working together on conservation projects.

Conservation Land Trust, in partnership with American philanthropist Peter Buckley, acquires roughly 208,000 acres along the southern Chilean coast near the Corcovado Volcano.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology publishes Clearcut: The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry, the first in a series of photo-format books designed to stimulate ecological activism.

The Foundation for Deep Ecology convenes key activists from around the world to develop a common framework of resistance to economic globalization. This conversation launches the International Forum on Globalization (IFG).

| 1993 |

The Foundation for Deep Ecology hosts the first of two gatherings of leading thinkers about the perils of megatechnology.

| 1992 |

Doug Tompkins begins restoring his farm at Reñihué, intending to see if careful, organic production could be compatible with conservation in that part of Chile.

Doug Tompkins endows the Conservation Land Trust (CLT), a private operating foundation incorporated in California, created to acquire land for Pumalín Park and support other conservation projects in Chile and Argentina.

| 1991 |

Doug Tompkins buys a run-down coastal farm on the Reñihué fjord in southern Chile, the first in a series of land acquisitions for conservation purposes.

| 1990 |

Doug Tompkins endows the Foundation for Deep Ecology (FDE), a private charitable foundation dedicated to supporting conservation activism.

| 1989 |

Doug Tompkins founded New Paradigm Thinking, which will later become the Foundation for Deep Ecology.




We conceive of progress as going in a certain direction: forward. But what is “forward”? If we are walking toward an abyss and reach the edge, well, we stop. If we take another step forward we’ll fall into the abyss and die. But if we turn 180 degrees and take another step forward, where are we going? We are not going back to the past. We are walking toward the future.

—Doug Tompkins

In ways large and small, as individuals and groups, we have the power to reorient the trajectory of life on Earth toward beauty, diversity, wildness, and health.