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 Flying to Protect Nature
Conservation flights focus on preserving lands, water and wildlife.
by Grant Boyd
  General aviation has become an irrefutable asset to businesses and organizations of all sizes,
needs and profits. Whether it be manufacturing firms, consulting agencies or law offices, aircraft provide value not obtainable by using other transportation methods – especially when operating in areas of little infrastructure. Aviation’s impact is also felt by conservationists, who
are often tasked with monitoring or traversing a large geographic area in a short amount of time on limited budgets.
Conservation Flying
Conservation groups utilize aircraft in several ways when supporting na- ture-related causes, and LightHawk is the largest of the few volunteer-pilot based conservation organizations in the United States. The group is based
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIGHTHAWK
out of Fort Collins, Colorado, with staff and volunteers dispersed across the country. It has assisted in hundreds of projects supporting the protection of wildlands, water and wildlife since its founding in 1979.
What started as a “one-man opera- tion” with a single plane has now be- come a national conservation group that utilizes 300-plus volunteer pilots. These aviators fly almost 50 twins and
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