Facebook Icon Instagram Logo

Team RAF

It's why you learned to fly.

Click to support our work with your tax-deductible donation.

Otherwise, click here to sign up for our free email newsletter.

RAF Timeline of Events

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

2001

  • 6 guys sat around a campfire in the backcountry and said, “If not us who? -  If not now when?”

2002

  • Recreational Use Statute New Hampshire
  • Backcountry Aviation Foundation begins to transition to the Recreational Aviation Foundation

2003

  • Bylaws for the organization written by Jerry Cain and Chuck Jarecki
  • Incorporated and successful filing of 501 (c) 3 by Jerry Cain and John McKenna
  • Idaho Airstrip Network was formed RAF Director, Rol Murrow was a key member
  • RAF was invited to participate in the Travel Planning process for the Lewis and Clark National Forest
  • RAF member Dan Lilja built first RAF website
  • 7 members

2004

  • First Edition of the “Land Manager's Guide”, written by Chuck Jarecki became available
  • First Edition of “Advocates Guide,” written by Chuck Jarecki became available
  • First State Liaison - Montana Ron Normandeau
  • Ben & Butch Ryan gifted Ryan Field to the RAF
  • 53 members

2005

  • First Newsletter created by Carmine Mowbray
  • move to 2008
  • 1000 members

2006

  • Re-opened Fort Kent, Maine airstrip
  • Began the process to specifically include  the word “aviation” to Recreational Use Statutes

2007

  • Travel Plan for the Lewis & Clark National Forest was approved for Russian Flat Airstrip
  • First Strategic Plan in Missoula, MT with Gary Burnett
  • RAF website rebuilt
  • National Park Service Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)  surrounding the maintenance of 3 Death Valley, CA airstrips
  • RUS Idaho and Montana

2008

  • Construction Russian Flat Airstrip began. First new airstrip on Forest Service land in over 45 years.
  • RAF pilot shelter completed at Ryan Field - built by Chuck Jarecki
  • RAF goes to Washington DC

2009

  • Attended Sun n’ Fun for the first time
  • Attended AOPA Summit Tampa, Florida
  • Abigail Kimbell, USFS sends letter to the USFS field that “recreational aircraft & backcountry airstrips can be an integral part of a balanced & effective transportation system”
  • Missouri River Breaks Monument management plan finalized, includes approval of six airstrips
  • RUS Maine

2010

  • Strategic Planning Meeting - Teton Summit in Driggs, Idaho
  • Russian Flat Airstrip opened to the public
  • Tornado event at Sun n’ Fun – Tornado Husky was born
  • Congressional Resolution honoring back country airstrips
  • RUS Tennessee

2011

  • Jerry Cain, Founding Director retired
  • Executive Assistant position created - Tricia McKenna       
  • RUS Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico and  Pennsylvania

2012

  • Glacier Summit - First full gathering of TEAM RAF in Kalispell, MT
  • Established caretakers for Ryan Field
  • RUS Vermont, Utah, South Dakota, Minnesota, Virginia and Washington
  • 4500 members

2013

  • RAF creates an Endowment
  • Chuck Jarecki and Dan Prill, Founding Directors retire
  • Began work with Walton Foundation and The Nature Conservancy
  • RUS Wyoming, Oklahoma and Alaska
  • 5000 members

2014

  • The Red Rock Roundup - TEAM RAF gathers in St. George, UT
  • AOPA and Montana Dept of Transportation grant obtained for the Wildlife and Aviation Study
  • RUS California, Georgia, South Carolina and Wisconsin
  • 6200 members

2015

  • Reopened North Fox Island Airstrip, Michigan
  • Volunteer Coordinator position created made possible in part with a grant - Sarah Chandler
  • Memorandums Of Understanding signed with US Forest Service  and Bureau of Land Management
  • RUS Oregon, Wyoming, and  Missouri
  • 7000 members

2016

  • Ragmuff Airstrip in Maine reopened
  • 43 State Liaisons and 9 Directors in 35 States
  • First edition of “RAF Guide for Airstrip Owners” written by John Nadeau became available
  • Funding announced by U.S. Congress for Backcountry Airstrips on USFS land
  • U.S. Congress instructs USFS not to close backcountry airstrips
  • RUS Maryland
  • 8000 plus members
  • Razorback Rendezvous - TEAM RAF gathers in Bentonville, Arkansas
  • RAF Grant Committee created to assist State Liaisons in funding projects
  • Two new Recreational Airstrips opened in Arkansas, Trigger Gap and Sugar Creek
  • RAF hosted first work party N Fox Island. Overall, 150 pilots have landed on N Fox Island since the airstrip was reopened in 2015!

2017

  • Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester holds press conference to discuss aviation issues in RAF hangar
  • RAF works with NPS for the first time in Alaska: Jake's Bar work party in Wrangell - St Elias National Park & Preserve
  • Work begins on Two Hearted airstrip in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
  • Sunrise Valley Airstrip in Oregon opens
  • Launch of RAF Ambassador program
  • First online auction is held
  • RAF partners with AOPA's Air Safety Institute to administer aviation safety survey

2018

  • 9,000+ members, 44 State Liaisons, 30 Ambassadors, 9 Directors, 8 Vice Presidents of Appreciation
  • Launch of RAF Backcountry Boutique
  • Two Hearted River Airstrip opens 
  • Keystone Connection - TEAM RAF gathers in State College, PA for educational conference