Rediscovering Bagual: tracking pumas

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As top predator, the puma has an influence, whether direct or indirect, over almost every component of the Patagonian ecosystem.  VHF radio and GPS collars allow Conservación Patagónica wildlife experts to monitor and understand the interactions between pumas and both endangered huemul deer and livestock.  However, putting a collar on a wily puma is no easy feat.  Winter’s snows make tracking possible, but even then, the challenges are noteworthy.
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Up close to the trout of the Baker

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The Baker River in southern Aysen is currently making more waves in political news than in the minds of fly fishermen. But despite the controversies over plans for building dams there, this remains for me the most spectacular fishing destination in all of Patagonia.
 
At first sight, the Baker River is imposing, awesome, unforgettable. The Baker's emerald-green waters rush south from Port Bertrand toward the Pacific Ocean, where it eventually washes up against the picturesque hamlet of Tortel.
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5000 Mile Project: Shoots of recovery in Patagonia after a century of over-grazing

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If you were to consider man’s impact on the natural world, it would perhaps begin with industrialization. Hot-footed in its path would follow a tangle of pollution, booming populations, intensive agriculture and over-consumption.
 
During the past 700 miles of our 5000mileproject odyssey (5000mileproject.org), we’ve steadily been running north from the southerly most tip of continental South America, a wild and remote region of the planet. A place one would consider relatively protected from this ‘humanoid’ onslaught? In reality, ‘Where there is a road, there is a way’.
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Patagonian realizations: Skiing the Whillans ramp on Poincenot

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Editors Note: Andreas Fransson is a Swedish skier who in recent weeks has been touring Patagonia. Salomon Freeski TV, which has just released a documentary profiling Fransson called "Tempting Fear," says he is "redefining the sport of ski mountaineering with his fast, strong and harrowing descents." Also called extreme skiing, and making descents of some of the world's most difficult mountains, in late September Fransson made a first (and last?) ski descent on Poincenot, Cerro Fitzroy massif, Argentine Patagonia. Fransson, who last year made a solo first ski descent of the South Face of Denali in Alaska, calls Poincenot 250 vertical meters of "the most technical skiing I have done in my life." He adds: "When it comes to ski grade rating I doubt I will ever ski anything harder. This is my limit." The following blog about this extraordinary feat is reprinted with his permission.
 
Recently, Bjarne Salén and I walked in toward the Fitzroy massif from El Chaltén. After about 5 hours we arrived at Laguna Los Tres and pitched our tent. From there we skinned up about 600 meters to get some good skiing and check the conditions. We found great snow conditions and skied down to our tent in the sunset.
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Interview with Amory Lovins: Building a sustainable energy future

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The biggest threat to upsetting the amazing pristine landscape and aspirations for a sustainable path in Patagonia, particularly on the Chilean side of the Andes, are an array of development projects aimed at converting this region’s natural resources into electricity.  In Aysen, HidroAysen’s big plans to build five large-scale dams on the Baker and Pascua rivers are well-known, but there are also a plethora of other dam schemes slated for southern Chile. Off the coast of Magallanes, on Riesco Island, a massive coal mining project called “Mina Invierno” is already underway to help support a rapid expansion of coal-fired thermal power plants in Chile’s north (and global warming). Chile’s government urges that more energy supply is needed to continue to fuel economic growth in the decades ahead, but are their facts, figures and energy strategy correct, wise and forward-looking?
 
Nobody is better to answer that question than Amory Lovins, probably the preeminent energy thinker in the world today. The chairman and chief scientist of the Colorado-based think tank Rocky Mountain Institute has a jaw-dropping resume: Oxford don; a former professor at nine universities; author of more than 30 books; advisor to a long list of heads of state, governments and major corporations around the world; winner of numerous awards including the “Alternative Nobel” and a MacArthur genius award; and named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine. 
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