They purchased paradise … then gave the idea all away

They Purchased Paradise ... Then Gave The Idea All Away

(CNN) — that will is usually the story of the couple who purchased paradise, the neighbors who curse their name along with the idea that will might save life as we know the idea.

They Purchased Paradise ... Then Gave The Idea All Away

the idea’s the story of how a climber who could afford his own mountains along that has a paddler who could buy her own rivers fell in love, pooled their fortunes along with bought 2 million acres worth of fjords, volcanoes, pumas along with killer whales.

They Purchased Paradise ... Then Gave The Idea All Away

Then, they pledged to give the idea all away.

They Purchased Paradise ... Then Gave The Idea All Away

Doug Tompkins along with Kristine McDivitt should have fallen in love sooner. nevertheless if the timing was late, the setting was perfect.

They Purchased Paradise ... Then Gave The Idea All Away

They Purchased Paradise ... Then Gave The Idea All Away

Bill Weir traces the incredible life of multimillionaire designer-turned-conservationist Doug Tompkins along with his impact on Patagonia. Watch CNN’s “The Wonder List” Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET.

They Purchased Paradise ... Then Gave The Idea All Away

He was a high school dropout-turned-billionaire; with his gang of fellow thrillseekers nicknamed the Fun Hogs, he lived to climb big rocks along with surf big waves. After outfitting his own adventures, he started out a company called The North Face.

They Purchased Paradise ... Then Gave The Idea All Away

She was a California girl that has a love for the outdoors along that has a head for numbers. As the right hand of another legendary Fun Hog named Yvon Chouinard, she helped turn his company, Patagonia, into a global brand.

Despite their mutual friends along with passions, the idea took a trip to a remote corner of Patagonia — the rugged along with breathtaking region in southern South America — to bring them together. Doug was 50, Kris was 43 along with after a whirlwind week together amid the mountains along with fjords of southern Chile, she retired as CEO, packed two bags along with moved into his off-the-grid cabin. There were no phones or Internet, no friends or family, along with the nearest road was an hour away by boat.

nevertheless they had each different — along with they had Doug’s plane, a tough, single-engine Husky, perfect for landing on short, remote runways.

A fox within the Iberá Wetlands region of Argentina, one of South America’s largest along with most ecologically diverse wetlands. Doug along with Kris Tompkins have played a pivotal role in acquiring land that will will constitute the future Iberá National Park.

With both of them passionate about the planet along with conservation, Doug along with Kris started out shopping for land in some of the wildest corners left on Earth. Their mission? To protect the precious parts of the globe that will their fellow humans were not.

They could afford that will because Doug had amassed a fortune. After selling The North Face in 1968, he helped his first wife create the fashion brand Esprit. along with as his wealth grew, he built one of the most valuable private art collections within the globe.

nevertheless even as he reached the top of the design world, Doug wasn’t happy. Every chance he got, he’d flee the boardroom for a fast river or a tall rock within the wilds of South America.

These trips along with his voracious appetite for environmental literature led to an almost religious conversion into deep ecology — a belief that will unspoiled wilderness is usually more valuable than any of the minerals or timber that will can stripped through the idea, along with that will humanity, in its current state, is usually doomed.

If biodiversity is usually the best measuring stick for life on Earth, he believed, then there are just too many people consuming too much stuff along with not enough planet to keep up. So in 1989, he cashed out hundreds of millions in stock, began selling his art along with buying land.

Together, Doug along with Kris Tompkins bought enough of Chile along with Argentina to hold Rhode Island along with Delaware. They let cattle ranches go wild along with removed timber operations. They reintroduced wild pumas along with jaguars. along with they fought the development of an electrical project that will could have dammed two of the wildest rivers in Patagonia.

All of which made the locals very suspicious.

Mountain-rimmed fjords are among the stunning sights in Chile’s newly dedicated Pumalin National Park, which the Tompkins’ were instrumental in creating.

nevertheless the Tompkins’ real plan was equally ambitious. They wanted to protect as much South American biodiversity as they possibly could by creating a network of national parks on par with those within the United States.

In March, Kris Tompkins stood not far through their first cabin along with handed over 1 million acres to the people of Chile. President Michele Bachelet vowed to set aside another 9 million adjacent acres, creating a preserve the size of Switzerland along with the sixth brand-new national park created by the Tompkins in South America.

nevertheless the joyful ceremony was missing the key player in that will love story. In December 2015, Doug had joined Yvon Chouinard for a Fun Hog reunion. They were paddling on a huge glacial lake when the weather turned along with Doug was tossed into the freezing water. After more than an hour of struggle along with frantic efforts to revive him, Doug Tompkins lost his life to the wild land he loved so much.

Bill Weir speaks to Kris Tompkins about the storm that will led to the death of her husband — legendary conservationist Doug Tompkins. Tune in to “The Wonder List” Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.

“When he died, he took the best of me with him, along with I kept the best of him with me,” Kris Tompkins told me within the first TV interview after his death. “I carry him around with me within the pocket of my heart. nevertheless he left me with so much.”

Two weeks after his passing, Doug was named an honorary citizen of Chile, nevertheless tough politics remain. Some lawmakers see the Tompkins’ efforts as some sort of imperial land grab along with continue to resist their conservation efforts.

nevertheless Kris vows to carry forward her husband’s vision of a human race that will can live in harmony with its natural surroundings.

“I study the failed civilizations as a hobby, because I am so confounded by our inability to manage ourselves as a species in a way that will prolongs a healthy future,” she said, eyes intense. “You don’t have to have several televisions. You can live differently to ensure that will the non-human world stops disappearing at a rate that will is usually incalculable at the moment. See, for me, the idea’s a moral issue. the idea is usually a way of looking at things along with saying, ‘Stop. I stop here. For me the idea’s not OK.'”

They purchased paradise … then gave the idea all away