Milestones

2021

Tompkins Conservation Chile changes its name to Rewilding Chile

Twenty-six ñandúes (14 in April and 12 in May) are released into the wild from Patagonia National Park’s rhea breeding center.

The company Explora begins managing the ecotourism services (the lodge and restaurant) in the Chacabuco Valley sector of Patagonia National Park.

Ten ñandú chicks are taken from Quimán Reserve in the Los Ríos Region to the rhea breeding center in Patagonia National Park, with the goal of reinforcing the population of this endangered species.

The digital book El Amarillo: Rebirth of a Town, which tells the story of this area’s beautification project, is published.

Twenty-six ñandúes (14 in April and 12 in May) are released into the wild from Patagonia National Park’s rhea breeding center.
Photo: Marcelo Mascareño

2020

The book Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park is published.

The alliance between Tompkins Conservation Chile and the National Cultural Heritage Service is formalized, allowing for the donation of more than one thousand books to Chile’s network of public libraries, including the books Yendegaia National Park, Corcovado National Park, and Tompkins Conservation: 25 Years, A Retrospective.

Fourteen ñandúes are released into the wild from the rhea breeding center in Patagonia National Park.

Tompkins Conservation Chile signs a formal partnership with Conaf, Chile’s National Forest Corporation (part of the Chilean government) in Aysén and Los Lagos, with the goal of protecting the huemul (South Andean deer), protecting huemul habitats, and reducing the threats this endangered species is facing.

Tompkins Conservation Chile signs an agreement with Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service (part of the Chilean government) to work collaboratively to protect the huemul.

Tompkins Conservation Chile signs an agreement with the Ornithological Union of Chile with the goal of developing a collaborative project focused on releasing condors in Patagonia National Park.

In August 2020, Tompkins Conservation Chile signs a regional biodiversity cooperation agreement with Conaf. The project’s goal is to work together to identify and carry out key conservation strategies, including species monitoring and habit restoration, all focused on the habitats of protected species living in State-Protected Wild Areas in the Los Lagos Region. This milestone marks the beginning of Tompkins Conservation’s work supporting the monitoring of the huemul in Futaleufú National Reserve.

The book Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park is published.

2019

Tompkins Conservation Chile acquires three farms in the Las Horquetas sector near Cerro Castillo National Park, converting them into areas for protecting the huemul and for public use.

The Lucas Bridges Museum House opens in Patagonia National Park, honoring the contributions of the area’s first settlers.

The renewable energy system (hydraulic and solar) is inaugurated in Patagonia National Park, becoming the most advanced system of its kind in a national park in Chile.

The Route of Parks of Patagonia Committee is created and includes the Tourism Service of the Los Lagos, Aysén, and Magallanes regions, along with Tompkins Conservation Chile.

Tompkins Conservation Chile transfers the administration of Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park and Patagonia National Park to the state of Chile, through Conaf.

Tompkins Conservation Chile, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Chilean government announce an agreement creating an innovative fund called “Route of Parks: Protecting Patagonia Forever.” The fund’s objective is to guarantee the future conservation of Patagonia’s national parks and to strengthen the park’s nearby communities. The project is put on pause due to Chile’s social crisis.

Ten ñandúes are released into the wild from the nursery in Patagonia National Park.

The Lucas Bridges Museum House opens in Patagonia National Park, honoring the contributions of the area’s first settlers | Photo: Jonaz Gómez

2018

The Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, meets Kristine Tompkins in Patagonia National Park to sign the decree creating five new national parks in Chile, in addition to expanding three more, incorporating more than 9.8 million acres into the protected areas system. This agreement is spurred by the donation of more than one million acres by Tompkins Conservation Chile. In honor of this initiative’s late founder, Pumalín National Park is renamed Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park.

The Visitors’ Center and Museum in Patagonia National Park in Chile opens to the public.

Kristine Tompkins is named United Nations Environment Patron of Protected Areas and receives the Luis Oyarzún Award from the Universidad Austral de Chile.

Conaf and Tompkins Conservation Chile establish the Patagonia Network of Parks working committee in compliance with the framework collaboration agreement for the management of the recently protected areas.

Two ñandúes are released into the wild from the nursery in Patagonia National Park.

Michelle Bachelet meets Kristine Tompkins in Patagonia National Park to sign the decree creating five new national parks in Chile.
Photo: Meridith Kohut

2017

The Chilean president Michelle Bachelet and Kristine Tompkins meet in Pumalín Park to sign an Agreement Protocol expanding the national park system in Chile through the Chilean Patagonia Network of Parks, an unprecedented public-private partnership and one of the largest donations in history, with the aim of creating five national parks and expanding three more.

On July 27, President Michelle Bachelet signs the decree recategorizing the former natural reserve Cerro Castillo as a national park.

On September 27, President Michelle Bachelet signs the decree expanding Isla Magdalena National Park.

Kristine Tompkins is one of the first conservationists awarded the Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy.

Twelve ñandúes are released into the wild from the nursery in Patagonia National Park.

In August, the National Transit Authority formalizes the official Scenic Route guidelines.

Michelle Bachelet and Kristine Tompkins meet in Pumalín Park to sign an Agreement Protocol expanding the national park system in Chile-
Photo: Antonio Vizcaíno

2016

The book Tompkins Conservation: 25 Years, A Retrospective is published.

Kristine Tompkins receives the Latin American Biodiversity Conservation Prize from the BBVA Foundation.

Kristine Tompkins receives the Latin American Biodiversity Conservation Prize from the BBVA Foundation.

2015

Douglas Tompkins dies on December 8 in a kayaking accident on Lake General Carrera in Chilean Patagonia.

In August 2015, the Transit Authority and Pumalín Project formalize the document “A conceptual framework and some considerations for Scenic Routes, scope for Ruta 7, a discussion document.” This document is created based upon discussions and analysis during various public-private meetings between the Transit Authority and the Pumalín Foundation.

In October 2015, Douglas Tompkins debuts the vision for the Route of Parks in the ATTA Tourism Summit in Puerto Varas.

Douglas Tompkins debuts the vision for the Route of Parks in the ATTA Tourism Summit.

2014

After seven years of opposition to the hydroelectric dam project HidroAysén, the Patagonia without dams campaign triumphs when the project’s Environmental Impact Study is rejected.

In March, a forest fire destroys 7,413 acres in Patagonia Park, kicking off a long restoration project in the affected areas.

Douglas Tompkins proposes the Route of Parks of Patagonia plan to the Chilean government. The plan includes the donation of all the foundation’s acquired land to the state.

Three condors are released into the wild in Patagonia National Park, thanks to a collaboration between Tompkins Conservation, the Chilean Ornithological Society, and Chile’s Agriculture and Livestock Service.

The Rhea breeding center is created in Patagonia National Park.

Three condors are released into the wild in Patagonia National Park

2013

The decree formalizing Yendegaia National Park is put into effect on December 24, and Tompkins Conservation donates the land for its creation.

The Outdoor Education Program begins in partnership with the Austral Lord Cochrane School, promoting the students’ connection with conservation and their natural surroundings through various activities in the future Patagonia National Park.

In Patagonia Park, a collaboration agreement is signed by Patagonian Conservation Chile, AVESCHILE, and CRAC to develop an initiative rehabilitating condors and teaching the local community in Cochrane about these raptors.

Outdoor Education Program.

2012

As part of a campaign to declare the Carretera Austral an official scenic route, the book Carretera Austral: The Most Spectacular Route in South America is published.

In Patagonia Park, the Herd Protecting Dogs (link in Spanish) program is launched, aimed at ranchers near the park, focusing on protecting their herds against predators.

Herd Protecting Dogs program is launched in Patagonia Park.

2011

The book Work in Progress: A 20 Years’ Retrospective is published to tell the story of the work of all the foundations under the Tompkins Conservation umbrella.

2010

Pumalín Foundation signs a collaboration protocol with the Los Lagos Transit Authority, with the goal of solving emergency road situations caused by Chaitén Volcano’s eruption.

2009

In January 2009, the ad-referendum agreement between Pumalín Foundation and the Los Lagos Transit Authority is signed to beautify Ruta 7 in the Palena Province.

2008

The Chaitén Volcano erupts. This volcano is located in the heart of Pumalín Park, and its eruption forces nearby communities to evacuate. The accumulation of ashes and associated flooding causes severe damage to infrastructure in both local communities and the park itself.

The puma monitoring program in Patagonia National Park begins with the goal of researching the interactions between pumas and huemules, part of the rewilding program.

2007

An alliance of more than 80 organizations creates the Patagonia Defense Council to fight the installation of mega dams in Patagonia. The campaign kicks off with the publication of the book Chilean Patagonia Without Dams!

The El Amarillo beautification project begins, initiating a series of aesthetic improvements in this town near Pumalín Park.

The Pro Camino Costero Community Group comes together, helping Chaitén coastal communities join forces in a campaign to improve connectivity in Palena.

2005

Pumalín Foundation is founded as a Chilean NGO. Ownership of the lands comprising Pumalín is transferred to the Foundation, along with the responsibility for maintaining it.

On August 19, President Ricardo Lagos visits Pumalín and declares its 713,366,052 acres a Natural Sanctuary.

Land is donated for the creation of the new Corcovado National Park, which will eventually be made up of more than 988,000 acres of protected land.

The huemul monitoring program begins in Patagonia Park.

2004

Under the leadership of Kristine Tompkins, Patagonia Conservation (now Tompkins Conservation Chile) launches the project for the future Patagonia National Park, buying the Chacabuco Valley cattle ranch in the Aysén region, an estate of almost 173,000 acres. The process of transforming this cattle ranch into a national park begins.

2002

The Scenic Route project for the Pumalín sector of the Carretera Austral is presented to the Public Works Ministry.

2001

Douglas Tompkins receives the Luis Oyarzún Prize from the Universidad Austral de Chile, awarded for his contribution to fostering harmonious relationships between human beings and nature.

The Alerce 3000 native species nursery opens. This project focuses mainly on the reproduction of alerces, as well as other native trees, to help restore degraded land in Pumalín.

2000

Kristine Tompkins founds Patagonia Conservation, the organization that begins the process of buying the Chacabuco Valley cattle ranch and transforming it into Patagonia National Park.

1998

The 93,900-acre Yendegaia farm in Tierra del Fuego is acquired for conservation.

The book The Tragedy of the Chilean Forest is published in collaboration with the group Defenders of the Chilean Forest.

1997

An agreement is signed between Tompkins Conservation and the Chilean government, which will become the basis for the first statute declaring Pumalín a Nature Sanctuary.

Additionally, both parties commit to regularizing the land situation of neighboring habitants near Pumalín Park.

1994

Douglas and Kristine Tompkins marry and begin working together on Southern Cone conservation projects.

With the help of American philanthropist Peter Buckley, Conservation Land Trust acquires more than 207,000 acres of land for the creation of Corcovado National Park.

1992

The Conservation Land Trust is created with funding from Douglas Tompkins. The trust is a private foundation headquartered in California, dedicated to the creation of parks and conservation projects in Chile and Argentina.

1991

Douglas Tompkins buys a deteriorated coastal farm in the Reñihué fjord, in the middle of what will eventually become Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park.

1990

Douglas Tompkins creates the “Foundation for Deep Ecology”, a private nonprofit organization headquartered in California, with the goal of financing various organizations around the world focused on protecting biodiversity and promoting eco-friendly agriculture and activism.