Californian-born Kris Tompkins has devoted nearly a quarter of a century to conservation projects in South America.
A former CEO of outdoor clothing company Patagonia, Tompkins has helped to protect millions of acres of land in Argentina and Chile, including Pumalin Park. "I hope to continue to be active in conservation until the day I die," Tompkins told CNN.
Tompkins worked with husband Doug (pictured) to protect the land. "I was utterly inspired by him," Tompkins says of Doug who died in a kayaking accident in 2015. Doug (founder of The North Face and Esprit) and Kris married in 1993 and moved to Chile. "He definitely was the original visionary. What we've done -- when you look back on it -- was pretty audacious for two individuals and their teams," she adds.
The Tompkins have a range of foundations and trusts that seek to promote and protect the varied landscapes in Patagonia. "We are not taking land out of production we are just changing what the land produces. We employ a lot of local people. Right now, we have 350 teammates in Chile and Argentina."
As well as protecting the landscape, Tompkins has also nurtured wildlife including giant anteaters, pampas deer, white collared peccaries, jaguars, main wolves and tapers -- many of which were extirpated, she says.
Covering 715,000 acres, Pumalin Park is Chile's largest public park.
Patagonia's rich and varied landscapes are home to thousands of species of birds and mammals.
Tompkins says "determination" has helped her achieve her goals in business and conservation along with "tenderness" for nature. "It's not for the faint of heart," she says of her work. "I have a real identification with the non-human world and tenderness for the human societies that are really getting trashed."