From the Editor’s Desk:
Douglas Tompkins, conservationist and founder of The North Face died this week. He was kayaking in Patagonia, Chile. He was 72. There are some great articles with all the details if you’d like to learn more including this one from NPR, this one from Adventure Journal with photographs detailing what Doug and his Wife were trying to save in Patagonia, or this one from Tompkins Conservation website.
I first learned about Doug and his conservation efforts in the film 180° Degrees South. His conversations with Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) about their respective beliefs regarding the earth, our responsibility to take care of it, and how they were doing that had a big impact on me at a time when I was first becoming aware of my own impact on the environment. Yvon put forth the idea that he was a conservationist because he always had been, but, in general, we are already screwed. Doug was the more optimistic of the two. Not willing to say we were screwed yet, and, in fact, believed we still had a chance. He wanted to give people a chance.
And it wasn’t just talk. He sold The North Face in 2000, and used part of his considerable fortune to purchase 2.2 million acres of land in Patagonia, Chile a place he had been visiting for decades. A place he had fallen in love with, and knew was worth saving. Then instead of hoarding the land for himself he and his wife, Kristine, set up Conservacion Patagonica to help reclaim lands and create National Parks for the country of Chile.
Just this week I watched this film update on what has been going on with the Conservacion Patigonica’s National Parks projects.
Over the past 15 years Kris and Doug Tompkins have lived and explored Patagonia leading the charge and inspiring conservationist, outdoor-lovers and random bloggers like myself to take a look at the details of how we can impact the world around us. Together they have been standing up and fighting for a place they love. If only we could all be so passionate, and so lucky to find that passion with someone they love.
I know I will continue find inspiration in the work Doug has done and the example he left behind.
“It doesn’t seem to be worth wasting a lot of energy on attempting to rewrite the past.”