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Keeping Our True North in Times of Change

Friends —

Many of our friends and supporters have asked me, “What does the new federal administration mean for LightHawk’s work? If you follow conservation and environmental organizations, there’s a lot of noise and motion gearing up for anticipated events. Internally, we’ve had great discussions, and I wanted to share our thinking.

In considering LightHawk’s role, I’m reminded of what our fundamental value has always been — we show reality. Our flights speak truth to power by providing access to an unarguable perspective. We speak our advocacy for conservation with facts revealed through our flights.

I use advocacy with a specific meaning: we advocate for the health of our planet and all that this entails — species survival, responsible resource use, clean air and water. We do not believe that any ‘side’ or political party has the sole claim on advancing conservation.

We Reflect the Truth: Our work fosters dialogue, builds consensus, and wins hearts and minds. We do good work for conservation through aviation. This is our essence. Good conversations are based in nonpartisanship — otherwise, they become debate.

The fundamental ingredient to our success has been that the people we invite on LightHawk flights can trust our nonpartisanship and that they remain willing to participate in flights that educate. If we advocate with words or positions outside of the cockpit, we limit our ability to change hearts and minds by creating barriers to agreement.

While our strategic initiatives and projects are national or regional in scope, each flight with each participant creates a local declaration. Every flight is crafted to engage and educate key individuals in order to support clear conservation outcomes. We live the maxim, “think globally, act locally.” Our efforts support nonpartisan work across all opinions and beliefs.

What will we do moving forward? LightHawk will continue to do what we do so well and so uniquely. We will continue to advocate for conservation through our work and our flights. And, we will continue to build bridges, foster dialogue, and bring the unbiased truth of the aerial perspective to decision makers.

Our Commitment to You: It is important to us that you understand our absolute commitment to conservation — and that you know that our studied nonpartisanship is our means to an end. I suspect that this will be a challenging needle to thread, but one that is crucial to our ongoing success.

You’ve asked what this new future means to LightHawk. It means that we will continue to deliver the truth of our earth. It means that our conservation partners are looking to us more than ever to help them accelerate their work because of the value we bring. I believe it will provide us with unparalleled opportunities to make a difference.

Your support, as it always has been, is crucial to this. You make our work possible. I truly welcome any insight, observations, dialogue or concern that you might have as we move into 2017 and beyond.

Thank you for all that you do to allow LightHawk to soar.

Terri Watson
LightHawk, Chief Executive Officer

P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on our work and how we might improve in the year ahead.
Please email me: terriwatson@lighthawk.org

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