Climate Change

Climate change in this next century suggests global temperature increases beyond anything seen since the Ice Age. These changes will be responsible for species extinctions and drastic changes in our landscapes. We are already witnessing increased drought, extreme weather events, wildland fires, insect outbreaks, and changes in wildlife habitat.

EcoFlight works specifically to document these landscape changes and the increase in the beetle kill in our pine forests throughout the Rocky Mountains as the temperature gradient increases.  There are ways we can manage our national lands that could help mitigate some of the changes posed by global warming, through alternative energy development and through providing needed wildlife habitat and migration corridors to help species adapt to a changing climate.

EcoFlight also works with the Forest Service and Fire Management experts on how modern fire management can be and should be applied to allow fires to burn naturally to do their part in restoring the landscapes, when not a threat to people or property.

Climate Change by state
New Mexico
FLIGHTS: Climate Change
California -  Desert Conservation and Recreation Act
State: California
Region: Southern California

In February 2016, President Obama designated the Sand to Snow, Castle Mountains and Mojave Trails National Monuments after hearing from thousands of supporters urging him to preserve these important lands. The designations come after nearly a decade of work by Senator Dianne Feinstein and countless others to ensure protections for these areas for recreation and important wildlife values... read more

Colorado - Pinebeetles
State: Colorado
Description: It sounds counterintuitive, but for wildlife species, those areas are a bonanza. Science is telling us these habitats are every bit as important as the forest before the kill-off... read more
Colorado - Tres Rios Master Leasing Plan
State: Colorado
Region: Western La Plata County and eastern Montezuma County
Description: The BLM’s Tres Rios office is looking at a Master Leasing Plan for western La Plata County and eastern Montezuma County. An MLP is a planning tool that lets both citizens, local governments, park managers and energy companies work to identify where and how responsible oil and gas development can take place, and where conflicts might exist - before leasing occurs.
Colorado and Utah - Red Dust
State: Colorado, Utah
Region: Colorado and Utah
Description: An increasing body of scientific research indicates that windborne dust from disturbed desert soils is contributing to early snowmelt in Colorado. When the light from the sun comes in contact with tiny rock particles instead of plain snow, the dust is heated, making the snow melt earlier and more quickly.
Flight Across America 2016 - National Park Centennial
State: Arizona, Colorado, Utah
Region: Southwest

In celebration of this centennial and in preparation for the next hundred years, EcoFlight’s student program focused on the importance of our national parks, the threats to them, and how we can be more inclusive in offering experiences to a wider variety of visitors, and how to include more perspectives in our advocacy.

Students studied Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde, National Parks, Colorado National Monument, and the proposed Grand Canyon and Bears Ears National Monuments.

Four Corners Region - Air Quality
State: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah
Region: Four Corners: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah
Description: Existing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the Four Corners region total 29 million tons per year of CO2. With the increased recognition of the impacts of CO2 as a major contributor to climate change, it is imperative that CO2 emissions be reduced in the Four Corners region... read more
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem - Whitebark Pinebeetle
State: Montana, Wyoming
Description: The Whitebark Pine is the main pine tree found at high elevations throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. A beetle epidemic that's killing trees across the Rocky Mountain region has taken an especially heavy toll on Whitebark Pine trees and the grizzly bears who depend on them... read more
Historic Before and After
State: Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming
Region: Western US
Description: Historic before and after photos of landscapes throughout the years of EcoFlight's conservation flying missions.
Montana - Glacier National Park - Glaciers
State: Montana
Region: Glacier National Park
Description: There were approximately 150 glaciers present in 1850, and most glaciers were still present in 1910 when the park was established. In 2010, there were only 25 glaciers larger than 25 acres remaining in the park. In Glacier National Park, some effects of global climate change are strinkingly clear... read more
Montana - Upper Missouri River Breaks - National Monument
State: Montana
Description: Having been designated as a national monument by President Clinton in 2001, this remote and beautiful landscape, with 149 miles of the Missouri River corridor designated as a National Wild and Scenic River, has finally begun to be recognized as a national treasure... read more
New Mexico - Chaco Culture National Historical Park
State: New Mexico
Region: Northwestern New Mexico
Description: Chaco National Historical Park is designated as a World Heritage Site and is one of the finest examples of Puebloan culture centers in the Southwestern United States, yet it too is impacted by intensive energy development. Natural gas fields, coal and uranium mines, and coal-fired power plants are especially prevalent... read more
Utah - Greater Canyonlands
State: Utah
Description: The Greater Canyonlands area extends beyond Canyonlands National Park over 1.4 million acres. Threatened by off-road vehicle abuse, oil and gas, nuclear and tar sands mining, this area contains scenic getaways for tourists, 12,000 year old archeological sites, and a rich history of Native American culture.... read more