Lighthawk

Rating: 4.94 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: PO Box 653 Lander WY 82520 USA

Mission: LightHawk''s mission is the champion environmental protection through the unique perspective of flight. Our goal is to mobilize enough volunteer pilots, aircraft and resources to help tip the balance toward sustainability for every major environmental issue within our targeted areas of focus. LightHawk helps to address environmental issues through: *Educational flights over contested landscapes to convert abstract proposals into something passengers can grasp. We know from experience that when decision-makers see the big picture from above, it has a powerful ability to transcend all personal ideologies, change hearts and minds, build commitment, and lead to action. *Technical flights are often the only practical way to obtain objective data on patterns of human and wildlife use. Technical flights include aerial photography, scientific data-gathering, wildlife surveys, and ground-truthing data obtained from satellites, high-altitude photography, or computer modeling. All  flights are donated by our corps of volunteer pilots.
Programs: LightHawk's environmental programs are organized along geographic boundaries: the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, the Rocky Mountains, and Mesoamerica; we also fly limited missions east of the Rockies and in the Caribbean. The issues we address through our flights range, literally, from flamingos to nuclear power, supporting efforts focused on forests, coastal and ocean conditions, deserts and grasslands, and urban and industrial issues. Our partners range from small community organizations with no paid staff to U.S. and foreign government agencies and international NGOs. Our field staff works with our partners to educate and support them on the often complex logistics and preparation required to produce safe, high quality flights with maximum impact.The diverse types of missions we fly include guided educational flights for passengers who may be local villager leaders or members of Congress; media flights for reporters, photographers and filmmakers working on environmental stories; technical flights to support scientists working on habitat and species surveys; and surveillance flights that help document environmental crimes and land use conditions.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

More Info

EIN 84-0852104
307-332-3242
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As a community based conservation organization in Belize, we struggle to find the resources to effectively manage the marine protected area and natural resources entrusted to us. We compete with funding against larger, better known organizations, our limited funds can only be stretched so far, and have to be prioritized. Partnerships are important, filling gaps where we have neither the skills nor the finance to achieve what needs to be done. The partnership with LightHawk, and the aerial flights they have provided has given us the opportunity to advance our knowledge of one of the most important and endangered inhabitant of our protected area - the West Indian (Antillean) manatee.

Starting from a vague idea of how manatees use the area, we now have maps and population counts, we know which areas they frequent and where the mating herds are found at different times of year. We know where we we are going to erect 'no wake' signs, and where we should prioritise patrols against unattended fishing nets, and where we should release rehabilitated animals. With only 800 to 1000 manatees estimated to be left in Belize, and with Belize recognized for having the majority of this endangered Antillean sub-species, we have now confirmed that Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary has a significant role to play in the conservation of this species nationally, regionally and globally.

Without LightHawk as a partner, we would not have been able to achieve this. LightHawk have provided an excellent service, with enthusiastic pilots willing to make the extra effort to ensure the aerial surveys are as effective as possible. They have been professional, helpful and provide an excellent service that helps us to ensure that we have the information we need to do a good job for endangered species conservation.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

We flew over the Colorado River and the River Delta in Arizona and Mexico. I have lived in the upper basin most of my life and had never ventured this far downstream. The perspective flying over these areas and seeing what impact actions upstream have on those downstream was eye-opening. Thank you, LightHawk, for taking me out and showing me the area!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

I flew with LightHawk in August, 2010 to make images for a Western US conservation photography project. The staff handled my request professionally and is always available to support me as a LIghtHawk client. The volunteer pilot was already at the airport and went over every detail about the flight and my goals. He stayed over and flew me on a 2nd mission to make sure that I made the images I needed for my project. I can't say enough good things about this first class organization, and the importance of aerial images to show large landscapes and tell complex stories.

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

the ability to make, and share images that show the connection of threatened landscapes in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Thos images have been used to advocate for protection of sensitive habitat, and one location is now protected.

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

No changes - LightHawk is an outstanding organization!

 
Flag review
Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 4 stars  

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) has worked with LightHawk on a cooperative program called Flying for Fish Habitat. The goal of Flying for Fish Habitat is to take decision makers on tours of watersheds were there are important decisions to be made regarding conservation or restoration actions to protect salmon habitat. Without these overflights to get the “big” landscape picture, it is often difficult to build the support and understanding necessary for affecting change. Our program emphasizes and models the power of cooperation and action among many groups. The primarily targets for flight participation are decision makers and community leaders often in the fishing, tribal and agricultural communities. Between 1996 and 2010 LightHawk assisted Flying for Fish Habitat on over 75 flights carrying 325 passengers on 17 watersheds. Participants on the flights report that they would not have come on a “ground-based” tour and often report that the flight has provided novel insights to them and built their support taking action.

During the 15 years Flying for Fish Habitat worked with almost every pilot in the Pacific Northwest. The pilots are always very professional, safety conscious, and well informed but most of all they love their job. The enthusiasm that the pilots bring to their flights is infectious. They are passionate about their planes and they are passionate about the environment.

It has been a pleasure to work with LightHawk.

Sincerely,

Pam Goddard & Fran Recht
Program leaders

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

Washington State

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

encourage use of a larger plane so that more experience could be shared

 
Flag review
Review from CharityNavigator