News from the Patagonia National Park project: January and February 2012
After a warm, dry summer, the first notes of fall have arrived at the future Patagonia National Park. Snows punctuated the nearby peaks of Tamango and Tamanguito last night, and this morning, the children living at the park headquarters gathered for their first day of school. The magnificent big sky sunsets arrive earlier each evening, giving us a moment to celebrate our team’s summer of accomplishments.
With the help of volunteers and interns, the trail crew completed the first section of the Aviles Valley trail, which will connect the Chacabuco Valley to the Jeinimeni Mountains and the town of Chile Chico. Our biologists tell us what we intuitively sense: wildlife populations continue to rebound in the transformation from ranch to park. We counted 1.5 times more Ñandu in the eastern sector of the park this February than we did last year, quantifying the success of a new conservation initiative focused on this ostrich-like bird. Herds of guanaco entertain visitors with their galloping, dust-rolling, and snorting antics all through the park headquarters.
The park has received a steady flow of visitors, from national politicians to neighbors, although protests further north in the Aysen region have curbed vehicle traffic. The Patagonia National Park project is attracting international attention as well: in a March 2nd article on the local landscape in Cochrane, the New York Times called this “an ambitious project, fashioned in the mold of Yellowstone or Yosemite National Parks.”
We’re delighted to share some recent news of park-building, community gatherings, and adventures. Conservacion Patagonica is now sending out Spanish and English versions of the newsletter and blog; please let us know if you’d like to receive this newsletter in a different language. And if any of these stories inspire you to get involved in this historic initiative to create a new 650,000 acre flagship National Park in Chilean Patagonia, please join us!
From the Chacabuco Valley to Cochrane: The 7th Ruta de Huemul Community Hike – Read story
Five Kayaks, Three Days, One Baker River – Read story
Mapping the Park: Round River Collaborates to Develop GeoPDF System – Read story
Midsummer Floods: Jan. 27th GLOF on the Baker River – Read story
Species Profile: Magellanic Woodpecker – Read story