Monsanto Fund Donates $20,000 for Molokai Watershed Protection
Monsanto Molokai News Release
The Monsanto Fund awarded a $20,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Hawaii for watershed protection at Kamakou Preserve on Molokai. Since 2006, the Monsanto Fund has contributed a total of $130,000 to TNC’s protection and restoration efforts of critical watershed and fragile ecosystems on Molokai.
Located high in the mountains of East Molokai, the 2,774-acre Kamakou Preserve is a rainforest like no other on the planet. This magnificent natural treasure not only shelters hundreds of native plants and animals, but also serves as an important source of water for the island and its people.
TNC’s work at Kamakou Preserve, in collaboration with the public and private landowners of the East Molokai Watershed Partnership, is focused on invasive animal and weed control.
“Molokai’s forested watersheds today are under constant assault from established and new invasive species,” said Ed Misaki, TNC’s Molokai Program Director. “Feral ungulates (hoofed animals) like wild pigs, goats and deer are steadily eroding fragile topsoil. Once this soil disturbance occurs, invasive plants that did not evolve here, like blackberry and strawberry guava, steadily displace our native forests and watersheds. Once lost, they may be impossible to fully restore at any price.” Continue reading
Mamaki of Hawaii Inc., owner and operator of Wood Valley Plantation in Pahala on Hawaii island, has been purchased by Texas-based UMED Holdings Inc.
Mamaki is a plant used by native Hawaiians to make tea with healing properties.
Wood Valley Plantation is located above the 2,000-foot elevation in the Kau district and produces award-winning coffee as well as mamaki. The mamaki operation is being expanded to help meet anticipated demand, the company said, in a statement.
UMED Holdings has interests in energy, agricultural operations, precious metals exploration, software and aircraft maintenance, and is traded over-the-counter via Pink Sheets.
Greenwell ethnobotanical garden to observe founder’s day
Garden to observe founder’s day
Bishop Museum’s native plant arboretum in Captain Cook, the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, will observe the birthday of the garden’s late founder Amy Beatrice Holdsworth Greenwell on Friday, Sept. 7.
Born in 1920, Amy Greenwell was part of the well-known Greenwell family which settled in the Kona area in the mid-1800s. An accomplished native plant expert, she wrote many articles on botany and ethnobotany. Some of her letters and articles will be on display in the Garden’s new visitor center. She was also an acute observer of archaeology and often joined Bishop Museum archaeologists on their field work.
She left the garden property to Bishop Museum on her death in 1974. Admission will be free on Sept. 7 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Birthday cake will be served starting at 12:30 p.m. and a Guided Native Plant Walk will be offered at 1 p.m. An award from the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority funds the Guided Native Plant Walks offered at the garden daily, Tuesday-Sunday. Visitors may take self-guided tours these same days between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The garden is located at 81-6160 Mamalahoa Hwy. in Captain Cook. For more information, call 323-3318 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org/greenwell.
Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in the Hawaiian Plant Walks should contact Peter Van Dyke at 808-323-3318 at least two weeks before their planned visit.
HONOLULU – Deer can swim, but not very far. When they showed up for the first time on the Big Island of Hawaii, mystified residents wondered how they got there.
The island is some 30 miles southeast of Maui, where deer are plentiful.
Hawaii wildlife authorities think someone dropped a few from a helicopter on the northern tip of the island. And tracks along the southern coast indicate deer were pushed into the ocean from a boat and forced to paddle ashore.
Whether they arrived by air or sea, wildlife managers want to eradicate them to avoid a repeat of the destruction seen on other islands where they ate through vineyards, avocado farms and forests where endangered species live.
Officials estimate that there are 100 deer on the northern and southern ends of the Big Island. A government-funded group is leading efforts to get rid of them before they breed.
“They didn’t get here by themselves, so the people who brought them over did so and have done it many times,” said Jan Schipper, the group’s project manager.
People have reported seeing deer on the Big Island for a while, but it wasn’t until a motion-sensor camera captured a photo of one last year that their presence was confirmed.
Axis deer, called chital in their native India, are similar in size to whitetail deer found in the continental U.S. Tigers and leopards keep axis deer numbers reasonable in India, but the deer population is growing 20 to 30 percent per year in Hawaii because there aren’t any natural predators.
The deer first came to Hawaii in the 1860s as a gift from Hong Kong to the monarch who ruled at the time, King Kamehameha V. They were first taken to Molokai.
In the 1950s, some deer were taken to Maui as part of post-World War II efforts to introduce mammals to different places Continue reading
MALP Educational MeetingFree to the public
Date: Tuesday January 24, 2012
Place: Maui Community Service Bldg next to CTHAR Extension Services (Map) on the UH Maui campus.
Time: Pupus will be served at 6:30 pm and the talk will begin at 7:00.
On January 24th MALP is proud to host guest speakers: William Merwin and Leland Miyano as they share with us their vast combined knowledge about palms. Their talk will include information on Hawaii’s palms, palm growth habits and conservation efforts.
William Merwin, who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and is the recent US Poet Laureate, has lived and gardened on Maui for over 30 years. Most of his focus has been on cultivating palms from around the world. He has gathered approximately 800 different species of palms, creating a truly unique palm jungle within the rainforest of Maui’s north shore. His enduring gardening passion along with his legacy of being a successful poet will be preserved with the recently created “The Merwin Conservancy“.
Leland Miyano, a good friend of Merwin, is an artist, landscape designer and author from Oahu. Leland has years of experience working with native palms throughout Hawaii and has worked extensively with many highly respected people in the field of horticulture and design. Leland’s numerous books include: Hawaii’s Beautiful Tree’s and Hawaii, A Floral Paradise. Leland’s own 1-acre garden in Kahalu’u is renown for its design and features numerous palms.
The agreement would add 20 plants and three insects to the endangered list
Four plants that are among the “rarest of the rare” in the world are now being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act, along with three Hawaii damselflies and 16 other plants that can be found on Oahu.
An agreement announced Monday between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based, nonprofit environmental organization, would add to the 437 species currently listed as threatened and endangered by the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Service Office in Hawaii, home to some of the rarest and most endangered species on earth.
It a federal offense to harm any plants, or kill or harass any animal, on the list. Continue reading
Endangered species hotspot now guarded against goats, pigs
A new pair of fences in the remote wilderness of Kaua‘i will reportedly protect the island’s primary source of water and one of the most important biological diversity hotspots in the Hawaiian archipelago.
These strong barriers, developed by The Nature Conservancy for the benefit of the Kaua‘i Watershed Alliance, will shelter 8,000 acres of the state’s most pristine wildland from the onslaught of invading feral animals, a news release states.
“These are just amazing areas. Everywhere you look, you are surrounded by incredible native Hawaiian birds, plants and insects. There is nowhere in the state like quite like it,” said Jeff Schlueter, Kaua‘i natural resource manager for The Nature Conservancy.
Ken Wood, a prominent biologist with the National Tropical Botanical Garden, which is a key partner in the Kaua‘i Alliance, said the biological diversity of the region is remarkable. He calls the area “one of the most important conservation sites in the entire archipelago.”
This land is also the core of the island’s watershed, a place where abundant rains and mists are soaked up and then feed the island’s rivers and its aquifer.
“These fences were conceived to protect the primary source of the island’s water supply. Continue reading
Book Excerpt: ‘Intelligent Tinkering’ By Robert Cabin
* Animals * Birds * Nature * Plants * Reviews * Travel * Wildlife
By Alisa Opar
Hawaii is home to one of the world’s last dry tropical forests. In their prime, these magnificent ecosystems were bastions of biodiversity. Now, only 10 percent of the state’s original dry forests survive. In Intelligent Tinkering, Robin Cabin, an associate professor of ecology and environmental science at Brevard College and a former restoration ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service, draws on his own experience in doing restoration work in the few remaining Hawai’ian dry forests.
Below is the excerpted first chapter from Intelligent Tinkering, by Robert Cabin. August 2011, Island Press.
State officials are developing plans to remove axis deer in Hawaii County before damage becomes significant to ranch grasslands, farm crops and plants that are vital to maintain watershed areas.
“We will need to take quick and effective action to prevent costly and destructive impacts on the Big Island that will last for generations, perhaps forever,” said William Aila, director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Kahua Ranch Ltd. Chairman Monte Richards said axis deer can cause great damage to Hawaii island’s forest in Kohala and become difficult to remove once they’re established.
“The thing is to get to them early, and you’ve got a chance,” Richards said.
Richards said Hawaii island ranchers successfully fought against the idea of importing axis deer in the 1960s. He suspects the axis deer were illegally shipped to the island in recent years by someone who wanted the animal for game hunting.
State conservation officials working closely with trackers and using game cameras to survey areas in recent weeks have confirmed the presence of axis deer across the island, including in Kohala, Kau, Kona and Mauna Kea. Continue reading
The state this week expects to announce a partnership with federal agencies to help landowners and managers protect forest lands.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and William Aila, the director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, plan to sign an agreement on the issue at the governor’s office on Thursday.
Kathleen Dobler, the deputy director of natural resources for the Conservation Service Pacific Islands Area is expected to participate, as is Wesley Nohara, the president of the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.
Caitlyn Pollihan, the executive director of Western Forestry Leadership Coalition, and John Lindelow of Ahu Lani Sanctuary, are also due to sign the memorandum of understanding.