How do we use aviation to support resource missions?
Nearly 40 percent of aircraft use by the National Park Service supports natural resource management. These missions include spraying invasive species; removing exotic plants; animal/bird surveys; hydrology; aerial capture, tagging, and eradication of animals (ACETA); trail work; and archeology. Some of these aviation missions require special pilot skills and qualifications. For example, ACETA operations are probably the highest risk operations conducted; often pilots must possess the skills to fly an aircraft at a low level, following a radio signal or the animal itself, and be able to position the aircraft so personnel can shoot a net or dart at the animal.
Resource managers can also directly participate in resource missions by using some pretty unconventional and innovative methods to collect their data.