Building the future Patagonia National Park
What is the path to establishing a new national park?
Conservacion Patagonica promotes the creation of new national parks because we believe that, in the Patagonia region of South America, national parks serve as the most effective conservation tool for protecting and restoring wildlands for wildlife and people alike. Establishing a new national park requires strong partnerships and collaborations: with the government authorities who establish the park, with funders who enable us to work at scale, and with neighbors who promote conservation practices beyond the park’s bounders.
When we set out to help create a national park, our goal is a flagship park that protects a large, biologically critical area, invites visitors to experience the natural world, and contributes to a vibrant local economy. To best conserve biodiversity, protected areas must encompass a substantial area of intact ecosystems, which can support healthy populations of all native species. The future Patagonia National Park will protect all native species found in this region of Patagonia, and offers the chance to restore health and ecological balance to degraded grasslands.
Parks thrive in reality (not just exist on paper) when people visit, explore, support, and advocate for them. One of the few parks being created on this scale in the world, the future Patagonia National Park will anchor ecotourism and thoughtful resource use in the Aysen Region, promoting a mode of development that embraces and protects the area's incredible natural character. The future Patagonia National Park will form a new chapter in the global history of national parks as key attractions of nations and focal points for environmental awareness.
A park like this does not come into existence overnight. We began the future Patagonia National Park project in 2004, when Conservacion Patagonica purchased Estancia Valle Chacabuco, the heart of the future park. Since then, we have made substantial progress in four major areas: buying land, restoring biodiversity, building public access, and community engagement. In parallel, the larger Tompkins Conservation team (our umbrella organization, comprised of Conservacion Patagonica, the Conservation Land Trust, and Foundation for Deep Ecology) has strengthened relationships with government authorities and politicians, building momentum toward establishing not just Patagonia National Park, but numerous other parks throughout Chilean Patagonia.
In December 2014, we plan to open Patagonia Park to the public, as a privately managed reserve with public access. The donation, and establishment, of Patagonia NATIONAL Park will take place several years after that. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming visitors from near and far to enjoy and explore the 200,000 acres of grasslands, mountains, lakes, and rivers that Conservacion Patagonica has protected and restored. Learn more about visiting the park here.