In November of 2004, the Agrupacion Medio Ambiental (AMA) Torres del Paine was formed with the objective to support and finance the investigation for the development of programs oriented to the environmental care and preservation.
For the first task, the program Nuestros Senderos (Our Trails) was implemented with the objective of realizing the work of maintenance, prevention and conservation of the trails in the private areas neighboring the park. These trails are subject to high traffic of trekkers and are not maintained by the Corporacion Nacional Forestal (CONAF), which is in charge of the administration of the Torres del Paine National Park.
This program then began to recruit volunteers to create the recovery zones which are the main areas of work. With the participation of specialists from the Global Community Project, Inc. of the Unites States and in conjunction with the specifications of Senderos de Chile, land projects were developed and the large task of restoring the most utilized trail in the Park, the trail to the Viewpoint of Las Torres, began. Among other tasks, 12 recovery areas were established and closed to foot/horse traffic to allow the impacted vegetation the best scenario for regrowth.
During that same year, with contributions from private entities of the region, a trail specialist was contracted to develop patrolling tasks, assuring that people do not create fires in prohibited areas nor camp outside of the designated areas. With these same economic contributions, informational material with the objective to encourage both tourists and local residents to conduct themselves responsibly within the environment, was distributed within the National Park.
In December of 2004, the Minimizacion de Impacto Humano (Minimization of Human Impact) program was implemented and focused toward the recollection and recycling of waste generated by park visitors. The program created battery deposits and oversees the routine recollection of glass bottles.
In January 2005, a donation system for the program Nuestros Senderos (Our Trails) was established by implementing deposit boxes in the main lodging and accommodation areas. The objective of raising these funds is geared toward the recovery of trails and impacted areas within the National Park.
That same year the National Park was affected by a huge tragedy, the forest fire of February 17, 2005. AMA amassed a group of 140 volunteers, including Chilean and foreign tourists, employees of local businesses, residents of Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas, and personnel from sponsoring businesses.
This event put the organizational power of AMA to the test, and made relevant the initial mobilization of volunteers. All of this was aided by the most important businesses in the region such as; Hosteria Las Torres, Hotel Explora, Fantastico Sur, Hosteria Grey, Hosteria Mirador del Paine, BigFoot and many other tourism companies. Also vital to this was the assistance given by the Estancia de la Familia Alvarez and de la Familia Hernandez.
After this first season of work, a leadership training course for the recovery of trails was developed by the experts from the Global Community Project, Inc. These friends from the United States assist with the instruction of leaders for volunteer groups in the months of April, May, September and October each year.