In case you haven’t heard the news, I want to call your attention to a major, hard-won environmental victory yesterday, with the Chilean government’s cancellation of environmental permits for the HidroAysén five-dam power project that threatened Patagonia’s free-flowing Baker and Pascua Rivers. We congratulate the Chilean people for their victory. We thank our customers and employees for lending their voice to the efforts of Patagonia Sin Represas (Patagonia Without Dams), International Rivers and other environmental groups that have worked dauntlessly for the past eight years in an uphill battle against a well-financed, ill-conceived development scheme.
Patagonia board member Kristine Tompkins, who with her husband Douglas Tompkins has been engaged in conservation efforts in Chile for the past two decades, hailed the government’s decision as “an historic victory, against all odds, in the fight to protect Chile’s wild rivers. This is a win for David over Goliath that will serve as inspiration for all those engaged in similar, difficult efforts all across the globe. Congratulations to the Chilean activists who have worked so hard.”
Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard, who recently served as executive producer for the documentary film DamNation, praised the work of Chile’s activists in turning around public opinion to earn widespread public support, “from everyone from Doug Tompkins, who took out hard-hitting, full-page ads in the Santiago papers to the gauchos who rode their horses to Coyhaique to protest the project. I’ve been fighting unnecessary dams for 20 years and this is a good day.”
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