Issue 10 - Special Tribute to Douglas Tompkins

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For this edition of Patagon Journal, the sad news in December that a kayak accident took the life of conservationist Douglas Tompkins prompted a necessary change in our plans. Tompkins has saved more of Patagonia’s wild places than anyone; he is perhaps the greatest wildlands philanthropist the world has ever seen. 


Canine Rescue Center in Punta Arenas

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By Bruce Willett
One of the things tourists often notice when arriving to Chile is the abundance of stray dogs.  This is especially true in Punta Arenas, a southern port city overlooking the Strait of Magellan.  When I first arrived to Punta Arenas in 1999, I noted the wandering dogs immediately. Many of them once had an owner, it seems, but had since been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Perhaps the pet owner tired of the dog once it outgrew the puppy stage, or perhaps they moved.  Whatever the reason, it is not uncommon for people to desert dogs on city streets far from their home or out in the country. Though some of these stray dogs appear adjusted and healthy, there are numerous cases of street dogs that suffer from injuries, sickness, poisoning, and even starvation. Many abandoned dogs simply don’t know how to survive on the streets.

Position of NGO's on the construction of 2 dams on the Santa Cruz River

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The national government of Argentina promotes the construction of two hydroelectric dams (Nestor Kirchner and Jorge Cepernic) which would irreversibly affect an irreplaceable part of our geography, the great Santa Cruz River; the last glacial river that runs free from the mountains to the sea.


Subscribe: Special packs for the holidays

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Douglas Tompkins: A ghost roams the valleys of Patagonia

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By Hector Kol
Translation by Taylor Ffitch
I learned about him in 1994, when a brief note in “El Mercurio” mentioned the existence of EDUCEC, an organization that represented the interests of a U.S. millionaire who had bought large expanses of public land to convert them into national parks.

Douglas Tompkins: Passion for Nature (1943-2015)

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Called by the indigenous Tehuelche “El Chelenko,” Lago General Carrera in the Aysen region of Chilean Patagonia, the second-largest lake in South America, is a glittering, gorgeous jewel with awesome hues of blue. Like the rest of Patagonia, it is also prone to wide swings in the weather. The winds can swirl about at tremendous speed, turning the lake into a veritable sea with leaping waves. And so it was on Tuesday, when Douglas Tompkins together with five others, including his longtime friend and partner in outdoors adventures, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia Inc., set out to kayak the lake but were tragically overcome by Patagonian nature. 

Call for Proposals: Climate Change in Patagonia

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Call for Proposals: Climate Change in Patagonia. Deadline: January 15th
Climate change is affecting Chilean and Argentine Patagonia in myriad ways.  Unprecedented drought, glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs), and declining production of krill for threatened species like whales are just a few examples of its effects on this remote, southern corner of the globe.

Tourism and sustainability in Chile

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By Robert Currie Ríos
Editors Note: The following is from Issue 9
Sustainable development is that which meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The term was first coined by the World Commission on Environment and Development nearly 30 years ago, and since then has seen a number of efforts from the international community to promote a more fair and respectful development model. These efforts include, for example, the creation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Millennium Development Goals, and most recently the Sustainable Development Goals.

The giants of Yelcho

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You’re a fresh water fisherman. What you’d like to do is catch some big trout on maybe 2 – 3 x tippet, and maybe some chinook salmon? See Chile’s Yelcho lake and river. Located near the town of Chaiten in northern Patagonia, its one of the most fertile and productive stretches of fresh water in the world, particularly when guided to deadly efficiency by veterinarian Steve Selway of Puma Fishing Lodge, who, in the offseason, spends his time pampering Triple Crown winner, American Pharaoh, in Kentucky. 
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