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WFEN Welcomes Patagonia Park as First Certified Enterprise in Chile

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The future Patagonia National Park, Chile, is now Certified Wildlife Friendly™ showcasing flagship coexistence efforts, wildlife conservation and wild lands protection for tourists while supporting the local economy 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 AYSÉN REGION, CHILE: – APRIL-2017– The Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN), a global community dedicated to the development and promotion of products and tourism that contribute to the conservation of threatened wildlife and to the economic vitality of rural landscapes, is pleased to announce the awarding of Wildlife Friendly™ Certification to Patagonia Park, part of Conservacion Patagonica whose mission is to promote the creation of national parks in Patagonia (Argentina and Chile), in collaboration with neighboring communities and local, regional, and national governments, that save and restore wildlands and wildlife, inspire care for the natural world, and generate healthy economic opportunities for local communities.

Originally one of the region’s largest sheep ranches, Estancia Valle Chacabuco changed ownership several times over the past century, resulting in an overgrazed and degraded landscape. When Kris and Doug Tompkins first visited the Valle Chacabuco Valley in 1995, CONAF (Chile’s National Forest Service) had long recognized the need to prioritize the protection of these unique and biodiverse ecosystems. With help from Tompkins Conservation and Conservacion Patagonica, the 170,500-acre Estancia Chacabuco was acquired. In subsequent years several other adjacent properties have been purchased from willing sellers, bringing the currently total area of protected land to close to 200,000 acres. Eventually, Patagonia Park will be combined with the Jeinimeni National Reserve to the north and the Tamango National Reserve to the south, to create a 640,000-acre Patagonia National Park. This will allow bi-national trans-boundary access across the border of Chile and Argentina and will provide ecosystem continuity, wildlife corridors, and tourist driving and hiking circuits.

“For Conservación Patagonica it is an honour to receive the Wildlife Friendly™ Certification in Chile which is a LDGlandmark supporting the feasibility of traditional livestock activities in Patagonia coexisting with top predators such as pumas”, said Paula Herrera, a veterinary doctor and livestock manager for the Park. “It has been a long process, over eight years involving changes in the carrying capacity, herding practices and a strong involvement of local gauchos. Today, we are very proud to reach the point where our neighbors recognize our status as a protected area, and the high quality of our products (meat, wool and breeding stock) associated with different livestock management practices such as the pioneering use of livestock guardian dogs to reduce predation in southern Patagonia.

 

LGD2“We are thrilled to recognize the incredible restoration, conservation and coexistence work happening here in Patagonia Park,” said WFEN Executive Director Julie Stein during a recent visit to the park to meet with the wildlife team and other staff. “It is truly inspiring to witness first hand this celebration of wild places including the hard but essential work to coexist with apex predators like pumas and by proving that the local economy can be supported through Wildlife Friendly™ tourism and products. We don’t have to choose between thriving businesses and thriving biodiversity – both are possible and in fact are inter-dependent.”

Efforts at Patagonia Park include extensive grasslands restoration, removal of over 400 miles of fencing which fragmented critical habitat by blocking wildlife corridors and entangling species like Guanacos in barbed wire leading to mortality. There is also an endangered Huemul Deer recovery program, a breeding center for Darwin’s Rheas, an Andean Condor reintroduction effort, and Puma monitoring, as well as a thriving livestock guard dog program to protect livestock from predation.

Patagonia Park is an initiative led by Conservación Patagonica since 2004, whose main goal throughout has been the formal donation of the land to the Chilean State to create Patagonia National Park, an agreement which was finalized and signed by the Chilean President President Michelle Bachelet on March 15 2017.

“The need for people and wildlife to not only coexist but to benefit each other is a challenge for protected areas and neighboring lands and communities,” said Cristián Saucedo, Conservation Director. At Conservación Patagónica, we believe this, and we invite other Chilean initiatives to be part of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, because we see this as a unique opportunity which links tourism, conservation, local communities and caring for the land as all part of our long- term vision for wild lands in Chile.”

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About Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network 

WFEN and its certification programs represent grassroots farmers, ranchers, artisans, indigenous peoples and conservation heroes from around the world including two World Bank Development Marketplace Award winners, a U.N. Equator Prize winner, leadership in the world’s marketplace for REDD+ Carbon Offsets, a Time Hero for the Planet, and a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee. Certified Wildlife Friendly® products contribute to the conservation of over twelve million hectares of diverse wetlands, forests, and grasslands; protect keystone endangered species in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin and North America, including the Snow Leopard, Tiger, Elephant, Cheetah, Red Panda, and Wolf; and benefit over 200,000 people through increased food security, income and employment. For more information visit: www.wildlifefriendly.org

About Patagonia Park 

Conservacion Patagonica works to create national parks in Patagonia that save and restore wildlands and wildlife, inspire care for the natural world, and generate healthy economic opportunities for local communities. For more information see www.tompkinsconservation.org / www.kristinetompkins.com / www.parquepatagonia.org

Tompkins Conservation: https://www.facebook.com/tompkinsconservation/

Patagonia Park: https://www.facebook.com/parquepatagoniaoficial/ 

Conservacion Patagonica: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectPatagonia/ 

Conservacion Patagonica: https://www.instagram.com/conservacionpatagonica/ 

Patagonia Park: https://www.instagram.com/parquepatagonia/ 

Contact: 

Patagonia Park 

Dr. Paula Herrera, Livestock guardian dog program: pherrera@conservacionpatagonica.cl 

Dr. Cristián Saucedo, Director of Wildlife Projects: csaucedo@conservacionpatagonica.cl 

Alison Kelman, US Media Contact: alison.kelman@tompkinsconservation.org 

Wildlife Friendly 

Julie Stein: Julie@wildlifefriendly.org 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Madrone Coast Farm First in California to Achieve Certified Wildlife Friendly® Status for coexistence with Mountain Lions

Madrone Coast Farm of Felton, CA Provides Habitat for Pumas

FELTON, CA (October 28 2014) Madrone Coast Farm is the first farm in California to achieve Certified Wildlife Friendly® status in recognition of its wildlife stewardship practices, following an ISO-compliant third-party audit process. “We feel that coexistence with wildlife, including mountain lions, is very important to the health of the local ecosystem.  Farmers and ranchers can successfully use proactive practices to coexist with predators,” says farmer Alison Charter-Smith.

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Alison Charter-Smith of Madrone Coast Farm, holding an heritage breed piglet

Charter-Smith and her husband, Tony Jaehnichen, raise heritage chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, and pigs, and offer pasture-raised chicken and duck-eggs, pork and wool at 4 farmer’s markets throughout the Santa Cruz area. The vast majority of their farm is wooded and accessible to wildlife, including 3 juvenile mountain lions seen on the farm this past summer. In addition to maintaining ponds to provide water, Charter-Smith and Jaehnichen are working to increase the habitat value of their land for terrestrial and avian visitors alike. The farm has nesting boxes for swallows, bats, owls and bees. Black-tailed deer, coyotes and bobcats are also in the vicinity.

To keep stock safe, Madrone Coast Farm keeps a close eye on its animals, especially at vulnerable periods, such as lambing, corrals stock at night, and engages the help of a pair of Maremma livestock guardian dogs. “I feel great knowing my food purchases support wildlife,” says Madrone Coast customer Bonnie Doran. “It’s important to me to know the food I’m eating is not adversely impacting the ecosystem. I was raised to respect the wildlife that have always been here and belong. We need to coexist with native species, not to kill them off.”

“The Certified Wildlife Friendly® label helps consumers to vote with their pocketbooks. Consumers can now support free-ranging wildlife as they buy from local farms,” says Julie Stein, Executive Director of the global Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. Certified Wildlife Friendly® farms and ranches support wildlife, biodiversity, and a host of ecosystem services. Read more »