While we’re working away here in the Chacabuco Valley to establish Chile’s future Patagonia National Park, travelers from around the world can enjoy the fruits of our previous labors at the spectacular Monte Leon National Park in Argentina. This 165,000- acre park became Argentina’s first coastal National Park when we collaborated with the Argentine Parks Administration to donate it in 2002. Home to one of the largest rookeries of Magellanic penguins, the park also contains substantial populations of guanaco, puma, rhea, grey fox, and various small mammals and birds.
The Monte Leon project differs from this project in that we donated the land with virtually no public access infrastructure. The park remains a quiet sanctuary for the region’s native species. Recently, however, AP reporter Thomas Watkins visited and wrote this great dispatch from the park. Here’s one quote we appreciate:
“Monte Leon is Argentina’s newest national park and it might not be here at all if not for private funding. The former sheep ranch was purchased in 2001 through a donation made by Kristine Tompkins, the ex-CEO of the Patagonia outdoor clothing company who is working with her husband, Doug Tompkins, to create vast swaths of conservation areas in both Chilean and Argentine Patagonia.
The $2 million price tag to buy the land, strip it of its sheep fencing and clean it up seems like a paltry sum, considering how many animals are now protected.”
Check it out!