Official EcoFlight page -we educate and advocate for the protection of remaining wildlands and wildlife habitat through the use of small aircraft.
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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
Today is National Public Lands Day. This is the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado. The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act will add wilderness to these spectacular landscapes and critical wildlife linkages, and protect areas in the Animas River headwaters from future road construction and mining.
Enjoy your day and weekend in your favorite public land – a state park, a national forest, an open green area near you and enjoy the beauty and the solitude! #aerial @sjcalliance #colorado #winteriscoming #wilderness #solitude #viewfromabove #publiclands
National Parks on the chopping board again: @brianmaffly Federal land managers are moving forward with a proposed sale of controversial oil and gas on the doorstep of Dinosaur National Monument, the agency announced today.
The move comes despite misgivings from Uintah County and National Park Service officials, who fear that energy development would detract from Dinosaur’s scenic allure.
Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah had asked the BLM to re-evaluate three leases bordering the Utah half of Dinosaur. BLM agreed to “defer” two of the leases, but a third is to be sold along with 74 others at the BLM’s quarterly auction to be held online Dec. 11. #publiclands #dinosaur #greenriver #redrocks #centerforwesternpriorities
Flying over the North Fork Valley of Colorado, a model for small, sustainable organic farms and wineries, surrounded by wild lands and backcountry recreational opportunities. In 2011 and 2012, the Bureau of Land Management proposed leasing public lands in the North Fork Valley for oil and gas development. The community joined together to oppose the lease sales and proposed a locally grown vision for the North Fork Valley that would keep energy development away from sensitive areas. The BLM agreed to consider the North Fork Citizens’ Alternative in the agency’s land use plan revision, but so far has not identified the community vision as the preferred approach. Oil and gas development and its associated water pollution will threaten the hub of organic agriculture in Colorado’s North Fork of the Gunnison River.
Say no to zoning North Fork Valley and Delta County for oil and gas development! #saynomore #northfork @aspensnowmass @mtnweststrategies #colorado #publiclands #organicfarming
Water levels in the Salton Sea, the largest lake in California, have been reduced due to declining water transfers from the 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement. Mitigating water will cease altogether in 2018. Despite a recent wet winter, the Salton Sea is in very real danger of drying up over the next two decades. This would expose the dry lake bed underneath which contains heavy metals, small particulate matter, and pesticide residues. When dry, these materials become available to be blown on the wind throughout the Coachella Valley and surrounding communities. A potentially poisonous atmospheric phenomenon resulting from the exposure to the compromised soils could pose a huge health hazard to workers in the area and to consumers of this food.
Loss of water also threatens over 400 bird species that call the Salton Sea home as they migrate along the Pacific Flyway. This area (the Imperial Valley) supplies approximately two thirds of the vegetables consumed during winter months by Americans. Farmers also produce alfalfa and Bermuda grass hay, which is used as dairy feed in the U.S. and abroad.
Communities and government need to come together proactively to find solutions to avoid any negative impacts. #california #saltonsea #migration #coloradoriver @audubonca
@usinterior Zinke’s National Monument review appears to be based on alternative facts. He calls for changes in restriction and downsizing New Mexico’s Rio Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monuments – due to road closures that restrict grazing and hunting, yet the BLM is clear they have not closed any roads since the areas were designated National Monuments.
Public opinion delivered during Zinke’s 4-month comment period were strongly in favor of protecting the designations – 28 million citizens participated in the process and 99.2% were in favor of preserving the monuments.
Clearly our Interior Secretary and president do not care about the ‘popular’ vote or represent the majority’s wishes. #riograndedelnorte #newmexico #resist #alternativefacts #beauty #gratitude #monumentsforall
A lush development in Coachella Valley in the Sonoran Desert of southern California. New developments are drawing criticism from residents, who ask where the water will come from, and if it makes sense to build big developments in the desert while #california and the #southwest confront one of the worst droughts in history.
For decades, groundwater levels have been declining in much of the #coachella Valley despite flows of water from the over-allocated Colorado River, used to replenish the aquifer. This long-term downward trend — together with the drought and the dropping levels of reservoirs on the #coloradoriver — has led some to ask whether Coachella valley water agencies' assumptions about continued and increasing water flow from the Colorado River is sound.
The Coachella Valley's water agencies haven't turned down a single request to supply water to proposed developments. @npcapics #drought #shortsighted
The Karst landscape of the greater Carlsbad area in south eastern New Mexico.
#carlsbad caves and karst formations harbor rare cave animals, irreplaceable artifacts and fossils, unique speleothems, and important water resources.
This is a region rich with resources. A major petroleum play in the Permian Basin lies juxtaposed with two national parks, extensive National Forest lands, and thousands of acres of undeveloped Bureau of Land Management lands. While many public lands in the region have been leased and developed for oil and gas, thus far the development has remained concentrated, leaving large areas of contiguous, undeveloped lands within and surrounding the Guadalupe Mountains. These undeveloped landscapes support hunting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, caving, sightseeing and many other forms of quiet recreation which draw visitors to the region and support diverse local economies. @nmwilderness @thetrcp #artistic #burst #aerial #conservationphotography #newmexico
The San Juan National Forest covers 1.8 million acres in the southwestern corner of Colorado.
People come to visit Southwest #colorado or live here largely because of the spectacular mountain landscapes, high quality of life, and excellent and abundant recreational opportunities. These special places are critical economic drivers, represent our western heritage, and are iconic symbols of Colorado. The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Bill will protect unique places like Mount Sneffels, McKenna Peak, Sheep Mountain and Naturita Canyon for posterity, and preserve the well-being of southwest Colorado communities. @sjcalliance #sanjuancounty #ouraycounty #highelevation #flyingtosavetheearth #wilderness @senbennetco
Grand Staircase Escalante, a treasure in southern Utah, and one of our national monuments that Secretary Zinke is recommending Trump unilaterally and illegally shrink.
As @protectwildutah states: It’s outrageous that after 99% of the more than 2.8 million comments received by the secretary supported keeping our monuments protected, Secretary Zinke is still recommending that the president illegally attack our national treasures. #utah #monumentsforall #grandstaircaseescalante #resist #redrocks #conservationphotography #flyingtosavetheearth #nonprofit #aerialphotography