No magazines on a dead planet
In this edition of Patagon Journal, the original plan was to make endangered wildlife the main focus, but the sad news in December that a kayak accident took the life of conservationist Douglas Tompkins prompted a necessary change. He has saved more of Patagonia's wild places than anyone; perhaps the greatest wildlands philanthropist the world has ever seen. For sure, Tompkins will go alongside the likes of Argentine explorer Francisco “Perito” Moreno and Father Alberto de Agostini as one of the most important figures in Patagonia's history.
Nevertheless, it's somewhat appropriate that our special tribute to Tompkins coincides with our special section on endangered species. One of his primary motives for conserving Patagonia was to protect and restore wildlife. “The extinction crisis is the mother of all crises,” Tompkins once said in an interview. “There will be no society, there will be no economy, there will be no art and culture on a dead planet.”
We were able to adjust our editorial plans quickly, thanks in large part to the tremendous help of Hernan Mladinic of the Pumalin Park Project. Antonio Vizcaino, the Mexican photographer from America Natural who collaborated with Tompkins in several of his photo exhibit-format books, contributed many priceless images that have truly made the tribute, in a word, beautiful. We were also fortunate to count with the help of our contributing editor, Pablo Valenzuela, who gave us the remarkable cover photo taken almost 17 years ago at Pumalin Park.
The life of Doug Tompkins provides yet another wonderful example of someone who sought to protect the places he most enjoyed and loved. At Patagon Journal, we certainly seek to do the same. Our mission is to build a greater understanding, appreciation and environmental protection of the world's last wild places, Patagonia in particular. Please consider supporting the magazine as a subscriber, sponsor or donor. Thank you.