LightHawk volunteer pilots provide the powerful perspective of flight to help conservation experts make better decisions.
This month we’re diverting from our regular destination feature. Instead of focusing on one small area of our marvelous planet, we’d like to draw attention to the wild locations found in between the airports, bed-and-breakfast inns and hundred-dollar-hamburger spots. Dan Pimentel has put the spotlight on some pilots who volunteer to do a different kind of daytripping in this month’s story, which we’ve titled, “Destination: Downstream.” We hope you enjoy the tour. —Ed.
While there is disagreement about the existence of a changing climate, there is one particular part of that debate to which all parties, regardless of politics, can agree: we all live on this one planet called Earth. And that’s not about to change in our lifetimes.
Every day, people discuss what we should be doing to protect our planet, and whether it needs protecting at all. But if you’re a volunteer pilot for LightHawk—a nonprofit organization that began in 1979 with one man and a borrowed plane—your mission isn’t to support a particular side of the argument. Your mission is to provide support for those working to solve the complex environmental issues that ultimately affect every person, plant and living thing.
LightHawk’s 212 volunteer pilots fly to protect land, water and wildlife in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. According to Bev Gabe, LightHawk’s communications manager, the organization’s role is to “help accelerate successful conservation outcomes for our partners through the powerful perspective of flight.”
“By making flights available to those working to protect our natural world,” Gabe continued, “we enable our partners in conservation to quickly and efficiently understand environmental issues and determine the factors needed to promote effective solutions.”
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