Blogs

Chilean groups launch campaign to protect pristine Caleta Tortel from salmon farms

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Oceana - A network of local, national and international organizations have launched the campaign “Tortel free from Salmon Farms." Their aim is to stop the approval of the first salmon farm concessions in this area, one of the last big areas in Chilean Patagonia free of salmon farms. The Undersecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca) has proposed a plan to approve five “experimental salmon breeding” concessions in the area of Tortel.
 

Futaleufu: Big advances in declaring Zone of Touristic Interest

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Futaelufu Riverkeeper, press release, July 29 - Futaleufu Riverkeeper, a Chilean foundation based in the town of Futaleufu, reports that the Los Lagos Regional Secretariat of the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism has granted the request to proceed with the Futaleufu ZOIT application, per Resolution No. 003 of July 21, 2015. A coalition of tourism companies, local actors, and communal and provincial tourism authorities are participating and collaborating in the process. There are high hopes that plans continue on track and include even more participants during the next phase. The news was well received by the towns of Futaleufu and Palena, which both focus on sustainable tourism and are working with various stakeholders to define desired models of development for the area and its communities.
 

What’s happening with the Patagonia Without Dams campaign in Aysen

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By Peter Hartmann
Translation by Benjamin Waters
 
As you may remember, HidroAysén, owned by ENEL and Colbún, has filed an appeal to the environmental tribunal against the ministerial committee's decision in June 2014 to block their project.  Last May, legal representatives from the company, the government and the Council for the Defense of Patagonia presented their arguments to the court. Its believed that the environmental tribunal in Santiago, where the case is being heard, could take up to a year to decide. After that, the most likely outcome is that whichever party loses it will appeal before the Supreme Court.
 

Alert in Aysen over salmon farming expansion

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By Patricio Segura
 
Concern is building in the Aysen region, and particularly in the town of Caleta Tortel, by what appears to be a new offensive from the salmon industry to expand its concessions in this region's pristine Patagonian fjords and channels. After the last session of the Regional Commission for the Use of the Seaboard (CRUBC) on April 30, where the discussion on the possible relocation of aquaculture concessions in the Aysen coast began, concern was raised anew over the environmental and social impact the industry has already had where it has operated.
 

The Last Hope

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By Francisco Campos-López and Kyoko Ruch

Última Esperanza translates literally to “last hope” in English. It is the name of a province in the Magallanes Region, located at the southern end of the vast, magnificent and pristine Chilean Patagonia, recently named as "Top Destination to Visit" by Conde Nast Traveler Spain. The capital and largest city in the region, Puerto Natales, is a beautiful southern Chilean town -- an isolated and obligatory stop for tourists traveling to the Torres del Paine National Park. Voted the Eighth Wonder of the World by VirtualTourist, this site is one of Chile’s greatest points of pride and the reason that Puerto Natales is globally recognized.  

 

The modern day adventure samurai: Dean Potter dies

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Flying raven, burning sun. Potter's partners on the summit of Fitz Roy after climbing Supercanaleta. Photo: Dean S. PotterFlying raven, burning sun. Potter's partners on the summit of Fitz Roy after climbing Supercanaleta. Photo: Dean S. Potter

 
"The modern day adventure samurai." That's how adventure photographer Jimmy Chin once described Dean Potter, a climbing legend over the past two decades, who died on Saturday in a base jumping accident in California's Yosemite National Park. In addition to his tremendous climbing exploits, Potter was known for his daring highline walks and base jumping -- parachuting off of high mountains. In 2002, Potter became the first person to do a free solo ascent of the Supercanaleta on Cerro Fitzroy ( and just days later he completed a nearly free solo ascent of the fabled Compressor Route on Cerro Torre) in Argentine Patagonia. Read here a story he wrote about that experience published just last week in The Alpinist: http://bit.ly/1PR7tZh
 

Volcan Calbuco erupts

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Jon Clark Memorial Scholarship Fund for Youth Paddling

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Last month, Jon Clark, a leading kayaker and director of adventure programs at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina, died in a kite boarding accident in the Bahamas. Also a resident of Futaleufu, he built his own home there and was a key figure in initiatives to save Chilean rivers, helping to establish FutaFest and NubleFest, among other efforts. Jon was also an early supporter of Patagon Journal.
 

Interview: Kayaker Evan Garcia and the future of the Trancura River

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By Tomas Moggia
 
Lover of free, fast and furious rivers, Evan Garcia is a leading American kayaker who in 2007 won the Freestyle Kayaking World Championships in Canada. Currently, the 26-year-old native of Montana is more focused on whitewater downhill kayaking and is a tireless seeker and runner of waterfalls around the world.
 
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