Your gifts to LightHawk have been hard at work, from the critical watersheds of the Atlantic seaboard to the endangered California condor. Across the nation we ensure our pilots are flying missions where aviation has a meaningful contribution. And central to this work is you and your steadfast generosity. For that, we are so very grateful.
With you by our side, over the last year we have secured major victories and embarked on new initiatives, including:
A Win for Wetlands: Challenged by trash, toxins and sea-level rise, we celebrated the passage of a ballot measure that will generate $500 million to restore San Francisco Bay wetlands critical to wildlife. “LightHawk helped us demonstrate the need for restoring the Bay at a massive scale by providing a bird’s eye view,” said David Lewis, executive director of our partner Save the Bay. You made that happen.
Showcasing the Centerpiece: In the environmentally-sensitive and critical-to-migration area known as the High Divide, we helped show the importance of preserving wildlife passage in the face of Western development. Stunning aerial videography acquired on LightHawk flights was incorporated into a powerful, story-based film called “The High Divide.” This film will show thousands why it’s critical to unite and preserve this centerpiece of connectivity. You did this.
Wilderness Forever: Last August, Congress designated more than 275,000 acres in the heart of Idaho as wilderness, which was one of the largest intact roadless areas in the country that lacked permanent protection. LightHawk had flown in support of additional protections in the area for several years. You made this possible.
A Line in the Forest: With the lumber industry knocking on the door, we witnessed the results of our work in central Maine as President Obama permanently protected 87,500 acres of gorgeous forest by creating the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. You were there with us.
Breaking the Smokescreen: As smoke from raging California wildfires complicated tracking efforts critical to the endangered California condor, we were able to elevate above the smoke and feed real-time location information of several missing birds to partners and biologists. You enabled this.
Adding Forever Wild: Threatened by logging interests, we celebrated as New York state purchased 20,758 acres to set aside for wilderness designation in the Adirondacks, completing a 69,000-acre land acquisition begun in 2012 with our partner The Nature Conservancy. Our pilots helped raise support for the purchase by flying media and stakeholders over the area. You were there with us.
Flying Higher: We cemented a partnership with the Teton Raptor Center in Wyoming to transport critically-injured raptors to rehabilitation centers. Short transportation time through flight can drastically reduce stress, increase positive life outcomes and help these birds thrive. They will get a second chance at freedom because of you.
Flowing Free: In what will be the largest dam removal project in American history, we celebrated 16 years of flights with partners in the Pacific Northwest to free the Klamath River from the teeth of four hydroelectric dams. The dam removal will restore hundreds of miles of fish habitat and improve water quality for riverside communities. Your partnership enabled this to happen.
While all of our work takes place across the nation and touches such a vast variety of issues, organizations and communities, the constant has been you and your generosity.
We are happy to report on each of these significant victories, yet there is still so much to be done. With your ongoing support, we continue to work around the nation on significant conservation projects.
In the Everglades we hope to reverse damage by advocating for the restoration of one of the world’s unique and important natural ecosystems. In Arizona’s Sun Corridor, one of the fastest-growing areas of the West, we’re continuing work to ensure smart development and avoid the misuse of natural resources. And on the Atlantic Seaboard, we are working diligently to support wetland restoration, dam removal and pollution mitigation in the Delaware River watershed, which supports drinking water for 15 million people.
As we move forward and are faced with new conservation challenges, we thank you for being the type of person that believes in this work. You can be proud of the legacy that we are leaving together.