Doug Tompkins, the passing of a giant

Doug Tompkins (Credit: Sam Beebe / Ecotrust)Doug Tompkins (Credit: Sam Beebe / Ecotrust)

Wilderness and wildlife lost one of its greatest proponents with the death of Doug Tompkins from hypothermia following a kayaking accident in Chile.

Highly successful businessman, founder of North Face and Esprit clothing multinationals, Doug increasingly realised the value and vulnerability of the world’s last wild spaces.

He moved to South America with his dearly loved wife Kris, where they acquired over 850,000 hectares of largely pristine forest and grassland in Patagonian Chile and in Argentina, creating a series of protected wilderness areas to be given as National Parks to the two countries. Alongside these a network of local enterprises was initiated for nature tourism and sustainable, organic agriculture.