Major Threats

First settled only a century ago, Patagonia already bears the scars of shortsighted land use and development. Argentine settlers, many of them immigrants from Wales and England, transformed the arid Patagonian steppes into massive livestock ranches, paying little heed to the carrying capacity of the fragile land. Decades later, industrial development, in the form of hydroelectric dams, poses another type of threat to the region.

Remote as it is, Patagonia urgently requires action: not just protection but work to restore its damaged land and to offer an alternative vision of development.

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

—Aldo Leopold