There can be no question that Doug Tompkins was one of the greatest conservationists of modern times.
Activism, education, and example have been the guiding principles of Doug’s work; and his Foundation for Deep Ecology and his Conservation Land Trust (through which he directed his philanthropy towards protecting South America’s threatened wildernesses) remain beacons of environmental best practice and which, today, provide the model for similar projects the world over.
In December last year Doug Tompkins died as the result of a tragic accident whilst kayaking. He was 72.
On the 16th of November 2016, the Foundation hosted a memorial event to remember, to reflect upon, and to celebrate too, the huge impact Doug Tompkins had on the world. The guests re-affirmed their commitment to continue the work that Doug and Kris Tompkins have inspired and this is the greatest legacy that Doug can have.
In the early 60’s Doug founded the fashion brand The North Face, but sold it so that he could pursue his love of adventure film making. Later, with his then wife, he founded the global fashion brand Esprit; and in the late 80s he took the brave decision to sell this business too, and to put the profits into conservation. By the time of his death, Doug, with his wife Kris, had become the largest private landowner on the planet, with 6.2 million hectares under management; much of it ceded to the governments of Chile and Argentina as National Parks and the balance actively managed as the realisation of his interest in sustainable organic agriculture.