Official EcoFlight page -we educate and advocate for the protection of remaining wildlands and wildlife habitat through the use of small aircraft.
303 posts 1,291 followers 945 following
Jonah natural gas field sits adjacent to the spectacular Wind River Range in southwestern Wyoming. It is one of the most productive fields in the US, with an estimated 10.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The energy development in the area has contributed to significant increases in air and water pollution. Additionally, the area is home to the winter habitat of one of the largest herds of mule deer in Wyoming . As energy development has increased, wildlife populations and good habitat have decreased. EcoFlight has been flying this area since it was first developed and has a pictorial history of this landscape’s evolvement over the last couple of decades. .
#aerialphotography #oilandgas #methane #windriverrange #wyoming
Land surrounding the Daneros Uranium Mine was removed from the original Bears Ears boundaries under the Obama Administration’s monument plan. Ore from the expanded mine would have been transported through the original monument to the White Mesa Mill. The company lobbied the Zinke last year to shrink the monument (which was reduced by 85%) and just won federal approval for expansion of its Daneros mine and La Sal complex.
Dust on Snow: Wind storms in #Utah pick up desert soils that have been disturbed by activities like grazing, off-road vehicles and oil & gas development, and it is deposited on mountain snowpack throughout the upper #ColoradoRiver basin. The dust causes the #snowpack to melt earlier and even has a significant impact on the amount of annual runoff due to evapotranspiration and snow sublimation. This photo was taken in the #ElkMountains in 2009.
The sandstone and monolithic formations in the remote Valley of the Gods are unique and cover a vast area, replete with Native American sites. This area was protected as part of Bears Ears National Monument, till Trump announced deep cuts to the #bearsears Monument in December 2017, a site that has become the symbol of the battle over America’s protected public lands. The fate of Bears Ears is now a legal battle, as tribes and conservation groups filed lawsuits. #keepitwild #ourwild #redrocks #valleyofthegods #aerialphotography #conservation #environmentalairforce
The BLM is seeking public comments until Feb. 8 on plans by Terra Rocky Mountain LLC to develop up to 63 gas leases west of Rifle., Colorado. The leases Terra proposes to develop as part of the Balzac Gulch Phase II Master Development Plan are among those included in the Roan Plateau 2015 settlement.
EcoFlight flew with @kdnkradio @wildernessworkshop and Mountain West Strategies over the Roan this morning, and will do more flights while various #watchdog groups review the proposal, to ensure terms of the settlement are being met. #colorado #aerialphotography #environmentalairforce
Arch Canyon, included in the original Bears Ears National Monument, retained partial protection in the The Shash Jáa National Monument.
Arch Canyon extends from Elk Ridge near #bearsears and empties into Comb Wash. It is home to a number of archaeological sites, including a Chacoan great house and remnants of prehistoric roads. It is surprising its protection was sustained as it is an area that has been a focal flashpoint of the motorized access debate. Whatever the reason, we are grateful, as this is a spectacular canyon that should be protected. The areas cut from protection are equally exceptional in archeological and scenic values and are deserving of conservation.#conservation #aerialphotography #aviation #environmentalairforce #redrockcanyon #keepitpublic
EcoFlight is thrilled a federal appeals court upheld the ban on new uranium mining claims around the Grand Canyon. Each small victory is so valuable in these times, and we are profoundly grateful to the justice system in protecting our fragile ecosystems and clean water. Common sense prevailed! EcoFlight is proud of the dedication of our superb partners in this fight to protect this most iconic of American landscapes, and proud to provide the aerial vigilance needed to keep this beloved treasure in the press and public eye. #grandcanyon #wilderness #conservationphotography #environmentalairforce #aerialphotography @grandcanyontrust @earthjustice @centerforbiodiv
El Capitan in Yosemite.
Tuolumne County Supervisor John Gray, whose district includes #yosemitenationalpark, said that if you more than double the entrance fee, you aren’t going to get the same number of visitors. The gateway communities are very dependent on tourist trade and this will hurt National Parks, places protected for all Americans to experience.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans would be less likely to visit a national park if its fees increased, a new poll finds. #camp4pix @npcapics #aerial #conservation #americanlife #publiclands #environmentalairforce
Our partner conservation groups sued the Trump administration this week to stop imminent expansion of the West Elk coal mine (in the foreground of photo) into roadless wildlands (in the background) in the Gunnison National Forest.
Arch Coal plans to carve nearly six miles of roads and scrape nearly 50 drilling pads ― with vents to release the potent greenhouse gas methane ― into the Sunset Roadless Area, adjacent to the West Elk Wilderness. The mine expansion will destroy habitat for black bear, elk, beaver and Canada lynx, and industrialize a landscape currently enjoyed by hunters and hikers. Accelerating climate change for short term profit is a key mistake of this administration. #resist #publiclands #aerialphotography #conservation #gunnisonnationalforest @hccacb @centerforbiodiv @earthjustice @wildernessworkshop @wildearthguardians @sierraclub
Manti-La Sal National Forest, part of #bearsears National Monument, will no longer be able to protect its high-visibility archaeological sites, with Trump withdrawing this area from protection. Even before Trump's announcement, planning efforts were stuck in limbo, as local and state officials insisted the USFS and BLM suspend management planning for this area. To not include this historically important site under the Antiquities Act is willful negligence on the part of the administration, as Republican President Theodore #roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act in 1906 largely to prevent looting of archaeological and Native American structures and objects. The purpose was to give the federal government an expeditious path to protect archeological sites, which is exactly what #presidentobama did in protecting this area. President Trump and Secretary Zinke clearly do not adhere to sound #republican conservation ethics. #publiclands @protectwildutah @grandcanyontrust @protectbearsears #aerialphotography #environmentalairforce
One of our favorite places to fly over - the majestic Grand Canyon. We were pleased to see a couple weeks ago that the Navajo Nation Council voted down the mega resort Grand Canyon Escalade proposal. The decisive 16-2 vote came after several hours of debate. It also was the culmination of seven gut-wrenching years of opposition by Save the Confluence families and Navajo citizens, who joined Hopi, Zuni, and Acoma leaders on Tuesday, October 31, to witness the dramatic decision to kill the Escalade bill. @grandcanyontrust #nps #publiclands #FindYourPark #grandcanyon #savetheconfluence
Earlier this fall we had several flight missions over forest fires in Montana and Idaho. Based on current scientific data, these fires were intensified as a result of drought, higher than historic winds, and a general warming of the planet. We flew deep into the Blackfoot Clearwater region (of Robert Redford A River Runs Through It fame) to look at the Rice Ridge and Liberty fires. We partnered with @y2y_initiative and the @idahoconservationleague to fly scientists, forest ecologists, fire managers, US Forest Service officials, landowners and conservationists to get a first-class bird's eye view of the culprit that was obscuring our pristine perfect Colorado blue summer skies. Yes, the jet stream carried the remnants of these majestic forests in the form of smoke all the way down to Colorado, and sometimes down to the northern border of Texas. The Rice Ridge Fire burned northeast of Seeley Lake in the Lolo National Forest in Montana in the United States. The fire, which was started by a lightning strike on July 24, 2017 and burned around 160,000 acres.
#fire #wildfire #nationalforest #montana #aerial #riceridgefire #publiclands #forestservice
SANTA ROSA AND SAN JACINTO MOUNTAINS NATIONAL MONUMENT
Just outside of Palm Springs, the Monument’s boundary encompasses about 280,000 acres, includingtwo Federal wilderness areas -- the Santa Rosa and the San Jacinto. The Monument was established on October 24, 2000, "in order to preserve the nationally significant biological, cultural, recreational, geological, educational, and scientific values found in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains" . Establishment of the Monument reflects the vision of local citizens and national leaders to ensure this special landscape is protected for all time. #nps #monumentsforall #publiclands #getoutside #FindYourPark #aerialphotography #aerial
Thompson Creek Molybdenum Mine is Idaho's largest mine at 3,000 acres. In 1994 it was discovered that acid mine drainage had ben forming on the embankment at the tailings facility here since 1987. After pressure from the public, agencies and the mine finally took action in the late 1990’s to remove/bury acid-forming sands on the site. However, pyrite-laden waste rock is still being placed within the tailings site. This pollution will last in perpetuity. #aerialphotography #aerial #environment #mining #keepourwaterclean
Flying over Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument - one of the monuments that is on the cutting block after Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendation. Parts of the monument have mining interests and given the current administration’s affinity to industry, it comes as no surprise they want to essentially dismantle this extraordinary landscape. #nps #publiclands #FindYourPark #gsenm #monumentsforall
The Climax molybdenum mine near Leadville, Colorado. The owners of the mine are pushing to increase the limit of molybdenum traces in stream water. Wastewater from the mine drains into Tenmile Creek which ultimately drains into the main water supply for Denver. Climax officials are pushing for a limit of 10,000 ppl. Currently the limit is 210 ppl. While the EPA looks like it will back the Climax request, the Colorado Department of Health says such a increase would be “lethal to aquatic life.”
One of our greatest pleasures is flying over our National Parks. In between flight missions we can often be found exploring these national treasures. Interior Secretary Zinke has proposed an increase in the entrance fee for some National Parks. In a statement, the National Parks Service said the fee increase would bring in an additional $70 million a year. A drop in the bucket of the Parks Services’ $12 billion dollar maintenance backlog. Additionally, President Trump’s budget proposal eliminates $400 million from the already insufficient Parks Services budget. #FindYourPark #nps #publiclands
Deep Creek is a spectacular 15-mile long limestone gorge that plunges from the White River Plateau into the Colorado River. It is 2,000 feet deep at Deep Creek Overlook and a mile wide. The creek starts just below Deep Lake (10,500 feet)
This is a very scenic and unique area. Its steep terrain and huge vertical relief have prevented significant human activity from ever occurring here. Deep Creek canyon features karst geo-hydrology, and over 40 caves have been identified in canyon - one of the largest concentrations of caves in Colorado. One of these, Groaning Cave, is the longest explored cave in Colorado. The caves provide critical habitat for several rare species of bats.
Deep Creek is under consideration as a Wild & Scenic River, and as a Colorado Natural Heritage Program Research Natural Area.
Potential threats to the area include
Water diversion projects that involve Deep Creek Canyon, and would disrupt the water flow in the creek. The Colorado Army National Guard routinely conducts helicopter-landing exercises at several sites within the canyon. Loud intrusions such as these negatively impact wildlife, particularly bats. The relatively flat uplands above the rim are vulnerable to illegal recreational road creation. These uplands also contain large mature spruce that could be targeted for harvest at some point in the future. #wildandscenic #deepcreek #colorado #aerialphotography #autumn @americanrivers
The Fryingpan River Valley, a high glacial river valley on the western side of the Continental Divide, is one of two tributaries of the Roaring Fork River, which feeds our wonderful and threatened Colorado River. The river originates in the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness.
The spectacularly scenic Fryingpan River is a gold medal trout river, that has cut its way down through the glacial moraines and deposits, as it travels north through time. #aerialphotography #landscapeporn #coloradoriver #redrocks #conservationphotography @kristinbraga