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March 17, 2011

I joined LightHawk as a volunteer pilot in 2008. I have met--and flown--professional photographers, land trust managers, congressional staffers, ranchers, biologists and other just plain interesting folks who are trying to better understand a land issue. Without exception, I have learned from them, and in turn each of them has had that OMG! sort of moment during the flight. Getting a bit of elevation, seeing the relationships of ground features, and absorbing the larger view seems to be of great help in how they get back to work on their particular projects. That's really fun for me.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My "direct" returns are in the enthusiasm of my passengers after our flights. Beyond that, seeing the published pictures that I helped capture, hearing of a legislative step to protect our environment, and knowing I got to be a part of something worthwhile are great bonus rewards for doing the fun part, which is the flying---with a purpose.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Spread the word to more partners. There is so much that should be done.

March 15, 2011

California recently created a string of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along its coastline. There was a years-long and often emotional struggle between commercial and recreational fishermen and environmentalists over where these MPAs would be established. I was able to contribute in multiple ways to the decision making process through LightHawk flights. I conducted several LightHawk flights carrying reporters and photographers from local media (newspaper & TV) over the areas being considered. Each of these fights resulted in reports that gave the public well-balanced views of the issues. I also conducted flights for stakeholders over their specific areas of concern so they could get a better overview of the areas they were considering. And I conducted flights over a two year period for biologists collecting data that was made available to those involved in the decision making process.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I love sharing the beauty of flight with people who are concerned for our environment. It is gratifying to see and hear the amazed responses of those who have never seen their world from this perspective. Flight is a very useful tool when trying to convince a legislative representative to support a bill to preserve a wilderness area. The environment also benefits from those flights that educate media representatives who then write balanced reports about environmental issues.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to see LightHawk continue to grow.

March 15, 2011

I've been a donor to LightHawk for at least fifteen years. I started donating as soon as I heard about it, especially as gifts for people I knew who were or had been pilots. The service LightHawk provides for non-profits, government officials, scientists, and other interested parties is unlike any other - they show them how the area of interest looks from the air. Often the damage being done by some company - mining or logging - is not visible from the road. Similarly, the value of the land and the life on it may not be visible from the road. The aerial view is essential in making planning decisions. The pilots who participate are immensely generous people, donating their skills and time to make LightHawk's work possible.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I read reports of LightHawk's work and am happy to have wonderful places protected and dreadful places cleaned up as a result of giving a true view of the situation to people who can do something about it.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no suggestion for changes.

March 15, 2011

I am a volunteer pilot for Lighthawk. I have been an environmental activist all of my adult life, and have worked with many of the better-known (and several not-so-well-known) organizations. Lighthawk has what I consider to be a brilliant approach (pardon the pun) which allows it to maximize the inclusion of volunteers from an incredibly broad range of the political/environmental spectrum. The volunteers are typically donating very high-value items such as aircraft use, fuel, and pilot time. This focus on having the high-cost items donated helps maximize the amount of work that the organization can accomplish with a given amount of funds. Lighthawk seems to be very professionally and efficiently run, making good use of modern technology and organizational practices. The volunteer experience is excellent, and from what I have seen, the same is true for the partners who benefit from Lighthawk's services.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Not sure what this field is meant for. I made a few guesses below: Location? North and Central America Type or Work? Environmentalism

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way so that fuel costs could be donated by third parties, so that the pilots who donate their time and aircraft could afford to donate more flights to the organization.

March 15, 2011

I'm a pilot for several non-profit organizations volunteering my time, fuel and airplane in support of their missions. LightHawk is one of the most efficient, organized groups with which I'm associated. I believe their website most accurately portrays their mission: “LightHawk is a volunteer-based environmental aviation organization that provides donated flights to make the aerial perspective freely available to conservation groups.” There's a tremendous amount of preparation and coordination involved in making each mission successful. The Program Managers do an excellent job of insuring that the mission objective is clear and that my passengers are briefed on the limitations of the pilot and the airplane.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a result of countless aerial surveys arranged and coordinated by LightHawk, the members of California’s Fish and Game Commission voted to set aside small areas of the ocean between Point Conception, near Santa Barbara, and the Mexico border as sanctuaries protected from human interference. These Marine Protected Areas allow sea life to recover and thrive and will actually increase fish stocks for future generations.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I honestly can't think of anything that I would change. LightHawk is a well-run, efficient organization that I'm proud to be a part of.

March 15, 2011

LIghthawk is one of the most effective conservation organizations, giving a bird's eye view of the issues on the ground, and continually finding a win-win solution for all partners involved. I have been a volunteer pilot for Lighthawk for almost 15 years, and the number of partners who have participated in these flights have found inspiration to preserve our wild land and to resolve the problems of almost any issue.
I will continue to volunteer my "wings" to assist with reaching the Lighthawk mission.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In National Forest issues in retiring Grazing Allotments, preserving wild lands, determining solutions for water issues in the state of Wyoming. Researching wildlife migration corridors to determine future development. Explore the impacts of gas and oil drilling in the Wyoming area. Locate a missing radio collared hawk.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make no changes to the present administration and their mission of Lighthawk. The current Director, Rudy Engholm, has been amazing in his determination to grow Lighthawk, and to make this the finest organization out there, often making personal sacrifices to reach these goals. If only all organizations could be run like Lighthawk!

March 15, 2011

I have been a Lighthawk volunteer pilot for over 10 yrs. I have very limited resources for donating to non-profit organizations. The single most effective donation I can make is to support Lighthawk by flying volunteer missions. I donate my plane, pilot time, and expenses so that Lighthawk can be just a little more effective. Lighthawk is a very efficient, focused conservation organization that has improved exponentially in the past few years. I am proud to be a small part of a powerful force in saving our world.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

On every flight. I see the results from the reactions of our conservation partners after we land. I also see results from images published in the media and the changes in environmental issues that are direct results of our flights.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find more funding. I know that Lighthawk is doing all they can in that respect but to have a better funded organization is always a goal.

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