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In the largest ever private land donation to a government in Latin America, the one million acres composing Parque Pumalín has been given to Chile. Inspired by the gift, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed an agreement to place Parque Pumalín, as well as 10 million acres of federal land under environmental protection.
The massive area (three times the size of Yellowstone and Yosemite put together) will now be designated for national parklands. “Today, we are bequeathing to the country the greatest creation of protected areas in our history,” said Bachelet in a speech.
The sprawling valleys of Parque Pumalín were originally patched together 25 years ago by two American conservationists, Doug Tompkins and Kris McDivitt Tompkins, as part of their legacy of “wild lands philanthropy”. It was their vision to preserve the lands from the sweeping industrial development consuming much of Chile, where mining is a major factor in GDP and national exports….