Eco-warrior's widow offers land to Chile

Santiago: Wife of North Face co-founder Douglas Tompkins who died in a kayaking accident in December, offered 400,000 hectares of land in the Patagonia region to be made into national parks.

Douglas Tompkins was one of the founders of the outdoor clothing brand The North Face.

A globetrotting rock climber and skier in his youth, Douglas Tompkins abandoned corporate life and moved to isolated southern Chile. He caused controversy in the 1990s by buying up land in southern Chile and Argentina to preserve it.

With his second wife Kristine, a former CEO of outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc, he began buying up land in order to protect an ancient forest in Patagonia.

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins discussed the donation with Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet. Last month, she met the new Argentinean President Mauricio Macri to donate 150,000 hectares of threatened wetlands near the border with Brazil, with the aim of creating the Ibera National Park.

After the meeting with President Bachelet, Tompkins said that the donation of the latest tranche of land to Chile was being made on condition that it would be used to create national parks which people could freely visit.

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