Activists, advocates, biologists and builders... the people of Tompkins Conservation—founded by Kristine and the late Douglas Tompkins (1943–2015), business leaders from Patagonia, The North Face, and Esprit—are working to confront the twin crises facing life on Earth: climate chaos and collapsing ecosystems.
More than a quarter century ago, we committed ourselves to working on the ground in the Southern Cone of South America.
From northern Argentina to southern Chile, you’ll find us creating landscape-scale conservation projects that focus on restoring an area’s full complement of native species.
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.
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.
CLT–Argentina rebrands as “Rewilding Argentina” and prepares to reintroduce jaguars and giant otters into the Iberá wetlands.
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.
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.
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.
Kris Tompkins accepts the BBVA Foundation Award for Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America.
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 (FDE) publishes Protecting the Wild, which explores the vital role of protected areas in fighting the extinction crisis.
FDE 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.
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.
CLT publishes Perito Moreno National Park, a photo-format book celebrating the park’s expansion via a Tompkins land donation.
FDE publishes the multi-author volume Keeping the Wild in collaboration with Island Press.
CLT 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.
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.
CLT–Argentina publishes Giant Anteater: A Homecoming to Corrientes, recounting the successful reintroduction of giant anteaters to the Iberá marshlands.
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.
FDE 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.
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.
FDE 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.
FDE publishes the book Plundering Appalachia: The Tragedy of Mountaintop-Removal Coal Mining, documenting the coal industry’s assault on Appalachia’s land and people.
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.
CLT–Argentina’s rewilding team works to reestablish populations of giant anteaters and Pampas deer in the Iberá marshlands.
FDE 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.
Biologists with CLT–Argentina translocate giant anteaters to the Iberá marshlands, where they had been extirpated for decades.
FDE 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!).
FDE publishes Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy, which promotes wildfire as a vital ecological agent in healthy ecosystems.
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.
FDE 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.
CLT 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.
Doug Tompkins founded New Paradigm Thinking, which will later become the Foundation for Deep Ecology.
| Douglas Tompkins and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins |
Douglas Tompkins, Founder and Benefactor (1989 – 2015)
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, Cofounder (1994 - present) and President
American conservationists Douglas Tompkins (1943–2015) and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins have achieved unprecedented success as national park-focused philanthropists. In more than three decades of work to save wildlife and wild habitat, they and their Tompkins Conservation team—in partnership with governments and other philanthropists—have helped protect approximately 15 million acres in Chile and Argentina. The Tompkinses’ record of accomplishment in landscape-scale conservation comes after successful careers in business, she as the former CEO of the Patagonia clothing company and he as the founder of The North Face and cofounder of Esprit clothing companies. Beginning in 1989, after leaving business, Doug endowed several family foundations—primarily with proceeds from the sale of his interest in the global Esprit companies—which were later merged and renamed Tompkins Conservation. After turning their entrepreneurial talents to saving nature, the couple developed numerous conservation and restoration projects, including a program that has reintroduced several regionally extinct species including giant anteaters and jaguars to their native habitat. Under Kris Tompkins’s sole leadership since 2015, Tompkins Conservation has accelerated its pace of national park creation and expanded its organizational focus to include advocacy for marine protected areas. Widely lauded for their conservation philanthropy, Kris and Doug Tompkins are the recipients of many awards, and Kris was the first conservationist to be awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. In 2018 she was named the United Nations’ Global Patron for Protected Areas.
| Douglas Tompkins |
Douglas R. Tompkins (1943–2015) was a wilderness advocate, mountaineer, organic farmer, philanthropist, and conservationist. As the founder of The North Face and cofounder of the Esprit clothing company, he devoted his formidable energies to business. As a mountain climber and whitewater kayaker he completed first ascents and first river descents on multiple continents. After leaving business and endowing a group of family foundations, he became one of the foremost conservation philanthropists in history, using his wealth to acquire, aggregate, and then donate private land to the national park systems of Chile and Argentina. For decades he worked alongside his wife, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, to restore degraded farms and to establish large-scale protected areas. Deeply devoted to biocentric activism, Doug was a key funder and thinker behind numerous groups and campaigns, and his private farmlands helped to advance the frontiers of agroecological thinking and practice. He died in 2015 after a kayaking accident in Patagonia.
| Kristine McDivitt Tompkins |
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, former CEO of the Patagonia clothing company, is the cofounder and president of Tompkins Conservation. She was a key figure behind the establishment of Monte León National Park in Argentina and Patagonia National Park in Chile, as well as other conservation projects. For decades she also worked with her husband, Doug Tompkins, to model a new agroecological paradigm by operating organic farms and ranches in Chile and Argentina. She serves in various positions of global leadership in conservation, including as Chair of National Geographic Society’s Last Wild Places campaign. She received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2017 and was named the UN Environment Patron of Protected Areas in 2018.
Cofounder and President of Tompkins Conservation
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins is the cofounder and president of Tompkins Conservation and the UN Patron of Protected Areas. The former CEO of Patagonia, Inc, she has spent the last 27 years protecting and restoring Chile and Argentina’s wild beauty and biodiversity through creating national parks, restoring wildlife, inspiring activism, and fostering economic vitality as a result of conservation. A key figure behind the establishment of 11 national parks and two marine parks in Argentina and Chile, she has helped to protect approximately 14.2 million acres through Tompkins Conservation and its partners. Along with her late husband Douglas Tompkins, the visionary behind these conservation projects who passed away in 2015, she is considered one of the most successful national park–oriented philanthropists in history. In 2017, she received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. A global leader in conservation, she currently serves as Chair of National Geographic Society’s Last Wild Places campaign.
Global Communications Coordinator
Carolyn joined Tompkins Conservation following a freelance career as a journalist based in the Southern Cone. She has contributed to over 50 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, including Trekking in the Patagonian Andes, and her work has appeared in magazines, anthologies, and online publications. As a Fulbright fellow, she documented cultural changes in Patagonia.
Chief of Staff
Nicole joined Tompkins Conservation in 2017. She previously worked at the National Geographic Society and cofounded a political organizing group dedicated to creating opportunities for volunteers to participate in grassroots democracy. Nicole graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse University with degrees in geography, policy studies, and Spanish, which she studied in Chile, Ecuador, and Spain.
Vice President of Finance and Operations
Tim was born and raised in California, but has made his home in Oregon for the last 25 years. Tim has a degree in accounting and several related certifications, as well as over 30 years of experience in finance, accounting and operations. He spent 20 years working at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, one of the foremost cultural institutions in the Pacific Northwest.
Executive Office Administrative Associate
Sawyer graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida where she studied sustainability, ecology, art, ecophilosophy, and climatology. A former research assistant at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station, her introduction to administration for a non-profit came from interning at Blue Mountain Center, a justice-focused artist and conference center in Adirondack Park.
Finance Director, USA
Debbie sits on the board of directors of Tompkins Conservation and is the finance director for all of the Tompkins family office, private, and philanthropic efforts. She began her career in public accounting as a C.P.A. specializing in taxation and was the chief financial officer of Esprit de Corp (founded by Doug Tompkins) for six years.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Esther is a certified public accountant with a Master’s degree in Taxation. She worked with Doug at Esprit for many years and has worked on the Tompkins Conservation team for over 20 years.
Quincey Tompkins Imhoff
Nicolás Ibañez, Jr.
John van der Stricht
Tompkins Conservation is a strategic collaborator of its offspring nonprofits Rewilding Chile and Rewilding Argentina.
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.