Kris Tompkins is the former CEO of Patagonia, Inc. and wife of Doug Tompkins, the late founder of The North Face. The two devoted their lives to outdoor pursuits, from mountaineering in the Himalayas to rock climbing in Yosemite, and built a career that gave people the tools to access wild places — places the Tompkins were inspired to protect.
Kris now heads Tompkins Conservation, which has used private lands to protect 10 million acres of new national parkland in Chile and create three new parks in Argentina. Tompkins Conservation has also completed major ecological restoration projects like reintroducing native giant anteaters.
Like TESF, Tompkins Conservation has partnered with preeminent biologist E.O. Wilson, whose Half-Earth Project is working to protect half the planet for biodiversity. Kris and Mike Phillips both sit on the Half-Earth Council, and Mike believes the importance of Tompkins Conservation is bigger even than their work in Chile and Argentina.
“The real lingering value of Kris’ work, beyond the ecological impacts of her holdings in South America, is to inspire others to rise up and do the work of Half-Earth,” Phillips said.
Read more about Kris’ story “Rewilding Chile and Argentina” in Mountain Outlaw and learn how public-private efforts can succeed.