Blogs

Pumalín National Park to carry the name of its founder, Douglas Tompkins

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Lago Negro, Pumalín Park. Photo: James Q MartinLago Negro, Pumalín Park. Photo: James Q Martin
 
Tompkins Conservation -At the La Moneda Palace in Santiago, Chile, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, President of Tompkins Conservation, signed the decree to create “Pumalín National Park – Douglas R. Tompkins.” This marks the final act in creating the network of parks of Chilean Patagonia, which establishes over 10 million acres of new national parklands and includes what has been billed as the largest donation of land from a private entity to a country in history. With today’s signing and naming ceremony, the government of Chile recognizes Douglas Tompkins’ legacy by giving his first and most iconic conservation philanthropy project his name. 
 
Kristine McDivitt Tompkins stated: “On behalf of our family and the Tompkins Conservation teams in Chile, Argentina, and the United States, I feel honored that Doug’s vision to create national parks is recognized in a permanent way, by putting his name on his beloved Pumalín Park.”
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The Simpson River faces its greatest threat in the Aysén region

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Photo: Daniel RojasPhoto: Daniel Rojas
 
 
By Luis Goycoolea
 
"The trout are changing their morphology, turning white," says an alarmed Gabriel "Gabo" Benoit, a guide and expert fly fisherman in the Aysén region. His passion for the sport has led him to travel throughout Chile to fish, from north to south, in the sea, lakes, rivers and mountain streams; even brands like Patagonia sponsor him to help promote fly fishing in the country. But in his travels Benoit says he is seeing serious threats to the future of fly fishing in Chile.
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The ethics of catch and release fly fishing

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By Jack Miller
 
Editors Note: The following is from Issue 16.
 
In 1973, three Yosemite climbers and I were forced to camp and hike for several weeks in Torres del Paine as the winds, snowfall and the infamous Patagonian rime or “refrigerator ice” kept us off the peaks. During this down time, the one serious fisherman in our group, Yvon Chouinard, hiked down the Rio Serrano, but brought back no fish. He just shrugged and claimed he was “throwing them back.” “Yeah, Right!,’” we chided. “You didn’t catch anything,” we told him.  That was my introduction to catch and release fishing. (However, the next day –under pressure from the rest of us-- he brought back two of the “smaller” fish he’d caught: beautiful sea-run brown trout. My journal reminds me it was “about 3 kilos, a substantial feast for us all.”).
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Protecting top predators at Península Valdés

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Photo: Jorge CazenavePhoto: Jorge Cazenave
 
 
By Romina Bottazzi

Editors Note: The following is from Issue 16.
 
For more than a century, the puma has been perceived as a threat in Argentina, particularly by the livestock industry. Conflict with man has brought this feline species almost to the verge of extinction. In some provinces there is still a system in place whereby the government will pay compensation for dead pumas or foxes. Even today, the stories of hunters, ranchers and farmers who still enjoy a puma steak are common.
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Se crea la nueva Red de Parques Nacionales de la Patagonia: Parque Pumalín y Parque Patagonia ya son de todos los chilenos

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Valle Chacabuco, Parque Patagonia. Foto: James Q MartinValle Chacabuco, Parque Patagonia. Foto: James Q Martin
 
 
Tompkins Conservation - En el nuevo Parque Nacional Patagonia se llevó a cabo la firma de los últimos decretos para crear la Red de Parques Nacionales de la Patagonia Chilena, concretando en este acto el Protocolo de Acuerdo firmado el 15 de marzo de 2017 entre Kristine Tompkins, Presidenta y CEO de Tompkins Conservation y la Presidenta de la República, Michelle Bachelet.
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Iguazú, Península Valdés and Machu Picchu: threatened by climate change

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Photo: Peninsula Valdes, Argentina.Photo: Peninsula Valdes, Argentina. 

 
By Norberto Ovando and Adalberto D. Álvarez
Translation by Thomas Bennett-Hughes
 
Climate change is threatening UNESCO World Heritage sites all over the world. At the Bonn Climate Change Conference (COP23) in November, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) presented its report “IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2” where it warned about this increasing threat, calling for urgent measures to be taken as soon as possible so that areas like Iguazú National Park, Península Valdés, Machu Picchu and others don’t deteriorate and even lose their present World Heritage status. 
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Issue 16 - Patagonian Ice Fields

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Patagonia still includes areas that are very much a last frontier for explorers, and none more than the several hundred glaciers that encompass the vast Patagonian Ice Fields. In this edition, we include three stories about three generations of explorers of the Patagonian ice. Andres Pinto, a young mountain climber from Chile, writes about his recent odyssey battling the unforgiving conditions of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Pablo Besser contributes an essay about his experience completing the first longitudinal crossing of the southern ice fields in 1999. And we profile Cedomir Marangunic, who explored the ice fields together with none other than the legendary British mountaineer Eric Shipton in the early 1960s.
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Chilean courts protect Patagonia’s Puelo and Cuervo rivers

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By James Blair
 
Local residents and environmentalists in Chile are enjoying a prolonged New Year’s celebration, thanks to two major legal decisions that will protect the country’s free-flowing rivers. Chile’s justice system put a final stop to two controversial large hydroelectric dam developments in Chilean Patagonia: (1) Mediterráneo S.A.’s run-of-the-river project proposed on tributaries of the Puelo River near Cochamó; and (2) Energía Austral SpA’s three-dam power plant proposed on the Cuervo River in the Aysén region.
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Fourth gathering of the Chilean Free-Flowing Rivers Network

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Photo: Constanza DougnacPhoto: Constanza Dougnac
 
 
Red por los Ríos Libres - Just a few weeks after the positive news about the final end of Hidroaysén, the Chilean Free-Flowing Rivers Network– formed by citizen groups, NGOs and individuals- expressed their joy at this great achievement. They also shared a conviction that there is still much to be done, given so many rivers are still threatened.
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