Douglas Tompkins, founder of the North Face and Esprit clothing lines, is buying up large tracts of land in Argentina to protect it from industrialized agriculture [that] is chewing up...

Douglas Tompkins, founder of the North Face and Esprit clothing lines, is buying up large tracts of land in Argentina to protect it from "industrialized agriculture [that] is chewing up big chunks of Argentina’s fragile marshland and savanna."

Tompkin first began buying up land in Southern Chile with the intention of one day turning it over to the government as nature preserves.  He now owns well over 1 million acres in Chile and Argentina. 

Not surprisingly, this environmental vigilante’s tactics have drawn some criticism.   Critics are accusing him of attempting to gain control of strategic water resources, while others claim that he is blocking access to public roads and limiting indigenous peoples freedom.  However, it seems the main objection to Tompkin’s land acquisitions is a general unease about foreigners (Americans no less) snatching up valuable land.

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