Ron Arnold's Left Tracking Library


Douglas Tompkins

"How much time do we have? It may already be too late"
The catastrophist power behind many thrones

Douglas R. Tompkins:
Foundation for Deep Ecology

Foundation for Ecology and Development
El Bosque Pumalin Foundation (renamed Conservation Land Trust)
Fundacion Educacion, Ciencia y Ecologia (Chile)
Patagonia Land Trust (Kristine Tompkins)

Doug's background:
Born 1943,
upstate New York.
1959: hi
gh school dropout.
1960: v
isited Chile as a ski bum.
1962: worked in California as a tree topper and mountain guide. November 1962: married Susie Russell, who in July had picked him up in her VW Bug as a hitchhiker at Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe.
borrowed $5,000 to start The North Face in Berkeley, selling outdoor and climbing gear.
sold The North Face for $50,000, started Plain Jane dress line with wife Susie, developed into clothing company, Esprit de Corp.
Mid-eighties: Esprit's sales worldwide topped $1 billion. Tompkins increasingly took nature-breaks with his long-time climbing partner and fellow outdoor-clothing magnate Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, Inc. Became an adherent of the deep ecology philosophy of Arne Naess and others.
ate-eighties: the Tompkinses' marriage fell apart.

Doug's philanthropy:
Tompkins and several rich friends bought about 1,000 acres of araucaria forest in Chile's Lake District.
1989: Tompkins incorporated the Ira-Hiti Foundation (Ira-Hiti is a Native American word), which gained exemption as the Foundation for Deep Ecology in April 1991.
1990: Tompkins sold his share of Esprit to a partnership that included his wife for more than $150 million, of which he gave $15 million to FFDE. Tompkins brings Esprit Chief Financial Officer Debra B. Ryker to FFDE.
1991: IRS granted exempt status to Foundation for Deep Ecology in April and to El Bosque Pumalin Foundation in September. El Bosque Pumalin (Spanish for "the Puma Forest") was chartered to buy land in Chile and Argentina, the beginning of plans to amass a vast land holding and turn it into a private park, then donate it to Chile's government.
1992: Tompkins created the Foundation for Ecology and Development with a gift of nearly $17 million. Tompkins moved to a compound on
Re˝ihue Fjord in Chile (about 120 kilometers south of Puerto Montt) without electricity or telephones, radio communication only, to live according to his deep ecology beliefs, but with 3 airplanes and a landing strip. Tompkins established a staging base in Puerto Montt with full modern facilities.
1993: After divorce from Susie, Tompkins married
old friend Kristine McDivitt, who in 1974 had assisted with the startup of Patagonia, Inc. with Yvon Chouinard, and for 12 years served as its CEO and general manager. Kris resigned from Patagonia in 1993 with a substantial fortune of her own.
1994: Doug and Kris Tompkins endowed the
Fundacion Educacion, Ciencia y Ecologia in Chile to receive their land as "Parque Pumalin" as a step in donating the park to the government. The Tompkins duo accumulated over 800,000 acres of land bisecting southern Chile from the border with Argentina to the Pacific, setting off a storm of protest from Chilean nationalists and the government, which rejected the national park proposal.
1997: Chilean government reached an accord with Tompkins to grant tax exempt status for Parque Pumalin's
Fundacion Educacion, Ciencia y Ecologia and cleared the way to make a national park of the land.

1998: Name of El Bosque Pumalin Foundation is changed to Conservation Land Trust.
2000: IRS granted exempt status to Patagonia Land Trust, endowed by Kris Tompkins with $1.8 million to buy land in the Patagonia region at the tip of South America for a national park. Kris Tompkins and Debra Ryker are the sole directors. The Trust
owns more than 100,000 hectares, proposed for a national park in Argentina.

Doug's Lieutenants:
Jerry Mander: San Francisco-based anti-technology guru.
Andrew Kimbrell: East-coast version of Jerry Mander.

Doug's message: Technological civilization is destroying nature and human life.

Doug's solution: Dismantle technological civilization. Simple as that.