‘It was a desperate time. Doug never got over it.’
Kris McDivitt Tompkins sits before a coffee table covered with colorful maps of Chile and Argentina, talking about the controversy in the early 1990s that swirled around a place called Pumalín, in southern Chile. Pumalín was the chastening early experience that showed her and her late husband, the retired businessman and adventurer Doug Tompkins, how hard it could be to convert Yankee dollars and good intentions into landscape protection in South America
Beyond the coffee table, beyond the maps, beyond the big windows of this handsome stone guesthouse, built like an aerie atop a small hill, stretches a vista of rolling grasslands, tumbling streams, forests of southern beech, and midnight blue lakes: the stern natural glories of Chile’s Patagonia National Park, another Tompkins project.