FutaFest 2013

Grab your paddle, because the Futaleufú River in Chilean Patagonia’s Palena region is gearing up for its 5th annual FutaFest on February 21-24.

On pumas, guanaco, ranchers, and politicians

Two stories that appeared recently in the news and on social media have left me astonished, as I imagine happened with many people who live in Argentine Patagonia. This is a sort of “amen” regarding the eternal discussion about intellectual faculties by those who govern our destinies, and their incapacity to see beyond special interests of those who apply pressure to present laws or decrees that are absolutely retrogressive and scandalously unhinged.

Issue 3

Some things take more time to ripen, we're pleased to present you Issue 3 of Patagon Journal, which we think was well worth the wait. In this special fly fishing edition, veteran fly fisherman Rodrigo Sandoval tells us how to capture some of the biggest trout in the world, in Patagonia. In 2004, British author Simon Worrall wrote a lengthy feature story about Patagonia for National Geographic. His work on that article led to his book The River of Desire: A Journey of the Heart Through Patagonia, with which we are fortunate to publish a long excerpt. Jonathan Byers shows how climate change is affecting mountains; in our Interview, Chilean mammal biologist Agustin Iriarte explains the current threats to Patagonian wildlife; Andres Amengual gives a stunning photo essay on the Puelo River Valley; and we have travel stories on the unlimited luxuries with Nomads of the Seas and on Aysen's spectacular Valle Exploradores.  If you have not yet purchased a subscription, you can do so here.

1st Patagonia Photo Contest

Patagon Journal is proud to announce the launch of its first Patagonia Photo Contest. The contest is open to photo submissions not only from Chileans and Argentines, but from anyone around the word who has visited and photographed this beautiful region.

Patagonia in watercolor: Elby Huerta

Rio Baker, by Elby Huerta
There are few people more passionate about Patagonia, both its people and the land, than Elby Huerta.

The value of water

For years we have made clear that, to us, water is life and not merchandise. Last month, during “Blue October,” we tried to promote the importance of human rights and the constitutional right to water. All this seems very logical. However, reality shows us every day that for some, water, without which we cannot live, is a “resource” for business and profit.

Renewables on the rise in Chile

Clean, sustainable energy technologies like wind, solar and geothermal power are on the rise in Chile – and with gusto. Chile’s Renewable Energy Center just released its monthly report on the state of non-conventional renewable energy* projects, and the report shows that far more generating capacity from these sources is in the pipeline than many people projected just a few years ago: 5,177 MW are already approved, and 3,660 MW more in environmental review. It is clear that private companies’ confidence in the sector is strong, even if the government’s interest has recently waned, as displayed when the administration rescinded its own goal to have 20 percent of national energy generation come from renewables by 2020. When you combine these numbers for renewables with the untapped potential for energy efficiency, plus expectations for–another unanticipated major player—liquefied natural gas (LNG), it is evident that there is simply no need for Chile to build new dinosaur conventional power plants like HidroAysén.
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