As Thanksgiving approaches, we have a lot to be thankful for at LightHawk. Thank you to our donors, partners and supporters for championing LightHawk’s mission of conservation. We wouldn’t be LightHawk without you!

Endangered California condors are thankful that they are not the big bird on the menu this week. Here’s a video of a recent LightHawk passenger condor arriving at a care facility. Aren’t they amazing!?

And here’s a video story about his flight!

LightHawk Hats, Jackets and Shirts! NEW- We now have a store where you can show your LightHawk pride! Please make orders by September 22 if you’d like to pick them up at the Annual Meeting in Santa Fe.

Stories For Water

Looking over the continental divide in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. This conservation mission will provide free photos and videos to journalists covering important water issues in the West. Photo Credit: Geoff McGhee/LightHawk

Issue: The Colorado River Basin and western communities are facing serious water shortages, as development, agriculture and nature compete for limited water.

Why It Matters: Water is a key component of wildlife habitat and human economies. In order to make smart water policies, decision makers and citizens need to know what’s happening with water in the west.

LightHawk Conservation Initiative: Safeguarding Freshwater Systems

What LightHawk Is Doing: LightHawk is partnering with The Water Desk, an independent water journalism initiative based at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism. We gave members the ability to document hundreds of miles of headwaters of the Colorado River this past month.

Outcome: LightHawk enabled journalists to collect photos and videos of the upper reaches of the Colorado River, which will be part of a free library of water-related multimedia for journalists.

Thank You to the Walton Family Foundation for supporting our work on the Colorado River.

Meet the LightHawk Staff

Lee Pagni
Interim Development Director

Lee, our Tucson, Arizona based staff member, is a passionate conservationist and helps LightHawk raise the funding necessary to do our important work.

  • He manages grants and foundation relationships for LightHawk.
  • He is in charge of fundraising and LightHawk communications.

Lee started working with LightHawk as a partner, organizing over-flights for community leaders in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve of Central Mexico. He has also coordinated LightHawk programs in the Rockies, Pacific, and Mesoamerica during his tenure. In addition to his work with LightHawk, Lee works with other non-profit organizations to advance conservation via outreach and education. One of his main projects is volunteering as a Board Member for Friends of Ironwood Forest National Monument. He has an M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Arizona, Tucson and a B.S. in Ecology from the University of California, San Diego. When he isn’t working, Lee enjoys flying gliders over the Ironwood Forest.

LightHawk in the News

My Northwest: Small planes are flying Kokanee salmon to Orcas Island hatchery

“For salmon recovery, LightHawk often flies media, scientists, elected officials, and more but this was our first time flying fish,” said Christine Steele, Western Program Coordinator for LightHawk. 

Castanet: Search for missing big cats

A story on a unique bobcat and lynx tracking study. “We fly in a grid pattern, or sometimes a pattern that Al with his experience suggests,” Riffle said. “Think of a paintbrush under the airplane painting with antennae, looking for the signal that the cats are emitting from their collars depending on what mode they are in, dropped or still active.” 

LightHawk Photo of the Month

VP Dave Riffle’s pit stop on the way home from lynx tracking in British Columbia at a remote strip west of Lake Chelan, WA. LightHawk flew with the Southern Interior Land Trust to track bobcats and lynx and learn how the cats use habitat on the US/Canada border. Dave Riffle.

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