Our nearly two decades of conservation work in South America, we have gained a reputation for preserving wildness and biodiversity by creating new national parks and other protected areas. But we find restoring damaged landscapes satisfying as well, especially when we can restore agricultural land to productivity. In many places, restored, well-managed farmlands now serve as parkland buffers. The aim is always to demonstrate more ecologically minded management practices to other landowners.
In Chile, our agricultural work (through The Conservation Land Trust and through personal investments) has centered on restoring degraded farmlands in Chile’s Lakes Region. We have tackled over a dozen projects, aiming to create regional models of a more diversified agriculture, informed by sound management practices. These farms are designed to provide a decent agricultural yield while maintaining the health of soils and native forests. The main activities have been raising sheep and cattle, producing native forest honey (sold under the Pillán Organics label), and growing fruit and vegetables for local consumption. A significant percentage of each farm remains in its natural, untouched state, allowing agricultural productivity to exist in harmony with the native ecosystem. Many of these restored farms are connected to, or have become a part of, the Pumalín Park conservation area.
Learn more about ecological agriculture projects in Chile:
Doug and Kris Tompkins’ properties
The Conservation Land Trust projects