Boonville, NY, Jul 25, 2011 — Whether it's from a float plane, a little two-seater, or even one of those little commercial jets, the aerial view of the North Country is unforgettable. You can see the whole topography of the Adirondack range, topped by the high peaks. There are vast skeins of wetlands, rivers, lakes and ponds, and villages stitched together with ribbons of roadways.
The network of airstrips across northern New York is less obvious, but there are just enough to host a community of private planes and their pilots. The airfield in Boonville is typical of the smallest private airfields. It's really just that: a flat, well-mowed grassy field. But it does have its own gas pump. Here's today's Heard Up North. Go to full article
The Tug Hill Plateau is actually a "cuesta" in geological terms, rising gently from Lake Ontario in the west then diving steeply into the Black River valley in the East. This shot looks east.
Jul 22, 2011 — Yesterday, we heard about a not-for-profit called LightHawk, which offers environmental groups private flights to help them give an aerial perspective to their "green" issues.
Today we focus on one group using that service to fight for its survival - the Tug Hill Commission. The Commission isn't exactly an environmental group. It's a state agency, and it's facing elimination in Governor Andrew Cuomo's effort to streamline government.
But the communities of the Tug Hill Plateau see the Commission as indispensable to balancing the economy and the environment in a "working forest". And more than that, they see the Commission as a potential model for other state agencies.
David Sommerstein was invited for a flight recently and has this story. Go to full article
Bob Keller of Boonville volunteers dozens of hours of flight time to environmental organizations via LightHawk. [Aerial support for these photos provided by LightHawk.]
Indian Lake, NY, Jul 21, 2011 — Environmental issues can be tough to convey to the public and to policymakers because they're landscape-scale. Flying high above, say, a forest, a factory, or a wetlands complex can give better perspective.
But few environmental groups can afford to pay for private flights. For 30 years, the not-for-profit Lighthawk has been bringing together volunteer pilots and environmental causes. David Sommerstein has this profile of the organization. Go to full article