miércoles, 8 de enero de 2014

New National Park in Magallanes Region: “Yendegaia”

There are 150,612 protected hectares in Tierra del Fuego in the Magallanes region, 38 thousand of which were given by the American businessman Douglas Tompkins.

MAGALLANES — Last Sunday President Sebastián Piñera and the Minister of Agriculture Luis Mayol signed the decree which creates the new national park located in Tierra del Fuego, with an area of 150,612 hectares.

The work began in 2011 when the American businessman, Douglas Tompkins, proposed to the government to expand the coverage of the National System of Protected Wildlife Areas (SNAPSE) and donated 38,780 hectares, which were added to 111,832 hectares of public lands to form the new park.

“Yendegaia” is located at the south of Río Azopardo and the Lago Fagnano, between the National Park D´Agostini and Argentina. The topology is mountainous, and covered by extensive ice fields, glaciers and snowfields that hook into fjords and channels.  They overflow with rich fauna and wildlife like the fox “culpeo” of Tierra del Fuego, the leopard seal, the elephant seal, the Dominican seagull, the giant petrel, and the giant woodpecker. We can access the park by boat from Puerto Williams or by land from the road Y-85 until Lago Fagnano

The project, registered in the Program Legado Bicentenario, “considers the protection and the conservation of the flora and the fauna besides the development of activities (of touristic character) which will be compatible with the protection and the conservation of nature. Moreover it will be a park available for the habitants, not only Chilean but for everybody” said Piñera.  “This road is called Road del Fuego –because it crosses the Island Tierra del Fuego- which will allow Chile to integrate a part of our country and we will be able to connect one day from the Peruvian border to the Canal of Beagle by the Chilean territory. This will definitely be a huge contribution to creating a more integrated, more united, and more solid country.”

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Ministries of National Property, Economy and Agriculture, and the Undersecretary of Tourism and the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), an organization that now manages 37 National Parks, 49 National Reserves and 15 natural Monuments, which form the 101 units of SNAPSE on a nationwide.

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