The Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) was founded by a group of Montana pilots who realized the threat of recreational airstrip closure was of national concern. They also recognized that there was the need for a unified effort by pilots everywhere to protect public recreational opportunities. The RAF is dedicated to preserving existing airstrips and actually creating new public-use recreational airstrips throughout the United States. Recognized by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the RAF is using tax-deductible donations to:
Identify private and public land for the development of new airstrips,
Assist in funding the building of new airstrips on public land,
Develop educational materials to assist pilots in being knowledgeable advocates,
Fund efforts to gain national recognition of backcountry recreational aviation and airstrips as a legitimate use of public lands.
Provide educational information regarding recreational airstrips to members of Congress and their staff.
"If not now, when; and if not us, who?" Those two questions were the basis for this organization we call the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF). Like certain words in other documents that we all refer back to, they are as appropriate today as they were on that starlit evening when those two questions were asked of the group of pilots a number of years ago while sitting around a campfire on a backcountry airstrip.