Patagonia RAVE Review

The field segment of the Patagonia RAVE ended earlier this month. It was a tremendous success and we captured some amazing pictures. The RAVE photographers, Jack Dykinga, Daniel Beltrá, Jeff Foott, and Bridget Besaw, and cameraman Edgar Boyles have brought back images of huemel deer, Andean condors, vizcatcha (little rabbit like rodents), roaring rapids, ongoing small scale development and stunning aerials of glaciers and rivers. We visited both of the rivers that will be dammed, the Rio Pascua and Rio Baker, as well as other pristine areas that will be destroyed by the project.

At the end of the expedition we all walked away with the feeling that the dam issue in Patagonia is bigger than the dams simply flooding a nice area. In reality, these dams would mark the beginning of the end for Patagonia because their construction would bring in new roads, new development, and hordes of new people that would change the character and wild nature of the region forever. Luckily, momentum is building against the dams, and our partners feel we’ve reached a tipping point. We have some great outreach initiatives planned that we hope will tip the issue. These include an exhibit that will travel through Chile and to Italy and Spain where the multinational corporations responsible for the proposed dams are headquartered, and a presentation at the share holders meeting of Enel (the lead corporation in Italy in charge of the project) this spring. Please stay tuned for more updates.

Thanks to our partners the Patagonian Foundation, Patagonia, Inc., Weeden Foundation, Baum Foundation, Renee and Jeff Harbers Foundation, Conservación Patagónica, Salvaje Corazón, and Ecosistemas. Thanks also to photographers Jack Dykinga, Daniel Beltra, Jeff Foott, and Bridget Besaw and videographer Edgar Boyles who donated their time to this RAVE to help keep Patagonia Wild.