Douglas Tompkins, co-founder of The North Face and generous donor to conservation causes, drowned in his kayak in nearly frozen waters in southern Chile.
On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, while paddling across Lake General Carrera in Patagonia, heavy winds toppled expedition kayaker Tompkins, 72, causing him to suffer extreme hypothermia. He was taken to a hospital in Coyhaique. After only six hours in the regional hub hospital, he p@ssed de@d.
As a pioneer in the fashion industry and a co-founder of the Esprit label, this designer has donated millions to national parks over 25 years. They saved two million acres of natural land in South America with the help of his wife, Kristine.
Tompkins left his comfortable corporate life and mansion in San Francisco for the wilds of Patagonia in 1989. After months of paddling, hiking, and research in the southern rainforests, Tompkins committed to the principles of the deep ecology movement and launched an unrelenting conservation effort.
To prevent the destruction of unspoiled ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and coastal plains, by developers, he led a campaign with coalitions of environmental activists in Chile and Argentina. Tompkins worked to limit what he saw as bad sectors like forestry and salmon aquaculture, but he faced economic interests and steady pressure from the Chilean government.
Former Chilean president and self-made billionaire Sebastián Pinéra replicated Tompkins’ success by purchasing a substantial portion of Chiloe island and repurposing it as a model for ecological sustainability. Unlike previous presidents of Chile, Pinéra commended Tompkins’s work.
The North Face issued a statement in which they claimed-
“Doug was a passionate advocate for the environment. His legacy of conservation is one that we hope to help continue in the work we do every day. He most recently visited our headquarters in Alameda, CA in 2013 and again inspired us to live a life of outdoor exploration. He will be missed.”
If interested in the specifics, please check out the linked post. You may read the complete statement by clicking the link in the post below-
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