We are pleased to announce the nomination of our founder and president Kristine Tompkins to be 2017’s National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Each year National Geographic honors 10 adventurers who have demonstrated remarkable achievements in exploration, adventure sports, conservation or humanitarianism. This year, Kris made the list in recognition of her 25 years of work to restore vital ecosystems and landscapes in Chile and Argentina. Through this work she and her late husband, Douglas Tompkins, along with their partners and local governments, have protected more land than any other private individuals in history—over 3 million acres.
Kris was born and raised on a ranch in southern California, except for a three-year stint in Venezuela. At age 15, she met and befriended rock climbing legend and equipment manufacturer Yvon Chouinard. After graduating from the College of Idaho, where she ski-raced competitively, she helped build Patagonia, Inc., starting as a shipper and working her way up to CEO. During her 20 years as CEO, Kris worked with Yvon to build Patagonia into a renowned “anti-corporation” and a leader in the outdoor apparel industry. In 1993, Kris retired from Patagonia, married Doug Tompkins (founder of The North Face and Esprit), and turned her talents to saving nature’s beauty and diversity.
In 2000, Kris founded Conservacion Patagonica (CP) to create national parks in Patagonia that save and restore wildlands and wildlife, inspire care for the natural world, and generate healthy economic opportunities for local communities. CP’s first project was the establishment of the 155,000-acre Monté Leon National Park, Argentina’s first coastal national park. In 2004, Kris and CP launched the Patagonia National Park project to establish a new 700,000-acre national park in Chile’s Aysen Region; this initiative is now in the process of being donated to the Chilean government.
Through their initiatives, Kris and Doug Tompkins have helped to establish six new national parks and are working to create five more. When the donations are complete, Tompkins Conservation hopes to leverage these donations to protect 13 million acres of land in Chile and Argentina.
Kris Tompkins truly exemplifies what it means to be an adventurer; pushing the limits of conservation and stewardship while sparking a global conversation around protecting and preserving our fragile planet.
Starting November 3rd, the public will get the opportunity to vote for Kris as National Geographic’s People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. Vote today to highlight Kris’s many achievements and help drive Tompkins Conservation’s mission forward! People’s Choice Voting Ends December 16th, 2016