I’ve been catching up on getting through my stacks of magazines this week and found a great article in National Geographic Adventure on the aftermath of the volcano in Chile that erupted in early May of this year. In Fallout on the Fu, the article looks at what the impact could be in a region that depends on tourism to keep the development wolves at bay.
The Palena region of Patagonian Chile has long been a battleground between those who want to keep it in good shape and those who want to rape the land for industry and power generation. As Jimmy Langman discussed in our Pumalin Park feature story, much of the preservation was done by North Face founder Douglas Tompkins buying up lots of land and leaving it intact. (Much as Ted Turner has done in the western U.S.)
Many worry what the future holds if upscale tourists stay away, worried about a land covered by ash, with the wildlife reduced.
Fortunately, it’s not all gloom and doom. Some areas received a few inches of ash, but others barely got dusted. The Fu River, a favorite for rafters and kayakers, is still flowing fine. So if you had plans to head that way, by all means check out the situation with local operators, but don’t cancel based on tales of gloom and doom. The residents and the land could both use your support.