UH wildfire expert: Invasive grasses growing in the abandoned plantations fueled wildfires on Maui and Hawaii Island

Spectrum News

Invasive grasses growing in the abandoned plantations on Maui and Hawaii Island fueled the ongoing wildfires, according to a University of Hawaii at Manoa wildfire expert.

Clay Trauernicht, an Assistant Specialist at UH Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, said land management is necessary to prevent future wildfires in Hawaii.

Wildfires on Hawaii Island and Maui, fanned by strong winds from Hurricane Dore, which is passing south of the state, have burned through the land. On Maui, the historic town of Lahaina was destroyed, with 1,700 buildings burned. At least 55 people have been killed in the fires, but Gov. Josh Green has said the number of dead was likely to rise.

In Hawaii over the past three decades, many sugar plantations, pineapple farms and ranches shuttered. Flammable grasses grew densely in the untended land.

Hot, dry and windy conditions all lined up over the last week, making the invasive grasslands “incredibly prone to burning,” said Trauernicht. “Weather conditions really contributed to the explosive behavior that we saw.”

Dry air sucks the moisture out of the grasses, making them burn swiftly and spreading the wildfire faster.

Lahaina was especially vulnerable because the slopes above it were grasslands. These invasive grasses grow right up to the edge of the community.

There are “thousands of acres of uninterrupted grasslands” in Hawaii, said Trauernicht.

Along with problems created by the grasses, he noted the abandoned plantations rarely have properly maintained resources that firefighters can use to fight fires: roads and water.

Long before the fire started, Trauernicht said private landowners and government agencies needed to work together to reduce the amount of “fuels” for the fire. This includes turning abandoned plantation land back into agricultural land, planting forests with trees that will shade out the grass, and grazing with sheep, cattle or goats.

“If you had those kinds of practices being implemented across larger portions of the landscape … the footprints of these fires would be much, much smaller,” said Trauernicht. “Firefighters would have much better odds at containing them. It would be less risky for them.”

Feral Hogs and the Deadly 2023 Hawaii Fire?

City Watch – Politics. Perspectives. Participation.


Climate change is a normal part of evolution but has become the most-recent politically correct term for inaction and to dismiss responsibility but is highly conducive to obtaining grants and/or a bigger budget for more studies.

Studies regarding nature must relate to reality and the assimilation of noted variances in improving life or protecting it, because—in reality–we have little control over the evolution of the universe.

“Climate change” also cannot excuse failure to have all emergency response systems at peak efficiency 24-hours a day on the islands to protect both residents and visitors.

The reported availability of only three fire units and 65 emergency responders during the current massive Maui tragedy is unforgivable.

CNN reported on August 13, “On Maui, the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, there are 80 outdoor sirens to alert residents to tsunamis and other natural disasters. They sat silent as people fled for their lives.”

“In fact, the state’s vaunted integrated outdoor siren warning system – the largest in the world, with about 400 alarms – was not activated during the fires,” according to Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Adam Weintraub.

Thousands of feral pigs—which are not native to Hawaii–populate the islands, dig up the soil, allowing invasive highly combustible growth to kill native plants and create dry brush conditions that flourish and are ignored.

This is not a new issue, but one that has been easy to ignore because there is little interest in feral pigs/wild boars; however, the government’s lack of preparation and excusing its failure to respond and attributing the losses in property and lives to “climate change” must stop when there is evidence of gross human error and the need to manage an important problem.

CityWatch is LA’s opinion, news and information website and newsletter.

Wildfires Are Becoming Increasingly Devastating in Hawaii

By Emma Marris, Nature magazine on August 15, 2023

Wildfires are not new to Hawaii. Although outsiders tend to think of the Pacific archipelago as a place of lush tropical vegetation, each island has a drier leeward side that is sheltered from the wind — this is where tourism tends to be concentrated, because of the sunny weather. Lahaina, where the most lethal fire broke out on 8 August, means ‘cruel sun’ in Hawaiian; this part of Maui has always been hot and dry.

What’s more, Hawaiian fires are getting worse and more frequent. “We’ve been seeing a pretty steady increase, and in the last few decades, an exponential increase in the amount of area that burns in Hawaii every year,” says climatologist Abby Frazier at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The three main ingredients of a wildfire are fuel, dryness and an ignition source. Hawaii’s key fuel is grass, which proliferated in former agricultural areas as the economy shifted from ranching and sugar and pineapple cultivation to tourism. When dry grasses burn, they can carry fire to forested areas, which tend to become grasslands after the fire, in a self-perpetuating cycle.

USAJOBS – Fire Management Specialist (Prescribed Fire and Fuels)

USAJOBS – Fire Management Specialist (Prescribed Fire and Fuels)


  • Individual will be a part of a research team investigating barriers to implementation of the wildfire crisis strategy.
  • Provides program management oversight for a high complexity fire/fuels management program, based on the IFPM complexity analysis rating factors.
  • Provides professional expertise in the development and implementation of multiple resource objectives. Evaluates individual fuels treatments, effectiveness of the overall program and makes recommendations for improvement.
  • Implements and administers prescribed fire activities, wildland fire use, and fuels management activities.
  • evelops fuels treatment alternatives adhering to applicable laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines.
  • Serves as a member of an interdisciplinary team planning, developing, and implementing land management plans, compliance documents, and agreements.
  • Performs fiscal analysis, formulates the annual fuels management budget, and tracks program expenditures.
  • Ensures welfare and safety in all aspects of project implementation and identifies training needs in fire and fuels management.
  • Participates in preparedness reviews, proficiency checks and drills, safety sessions, and after action reviews.
  • Coordinates multi-disciplinary field studies related to fuels management program issues to determine effectiveness of treatments.
  • Coordinates with the next higher organizational level, other agencies, cooperators, and stakeholders to develop interagency fuels strategies and represents the organization in multi-agency fuels management activities.


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or National.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.
  • Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
  • Successful completion of one year probationary period, unless previously served.
  • Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
  • Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit e-verify.gov
  • Must be 18 years of age.
  • This is a Test Designated Position. You will be tested for illegal drugs prior to appointment and randomly thereafter. Appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results.
  • Must pass the Work Capacity Test for certain Interagency Fire Program Management or Fire Program Management positions.
  • Minimum of 90 days of wildland firefighting experience is required.
  • Willing to live/work in remote locations (volatile/unpredictable).
  • Some Fire positions may have Conditions of Employment such as: a valid state driver’s license; a commercial driver’s license (CDL); pre-appointment and random drug testing; or a physical or medical examination.
  • There may be additional Conditions of Employment not listed here, however applicants will be notified of any specific requirements at the time a tentative job offer is made.

In order to qualify, you must meet the eligibility and qualifications requirements as defined below by the closing date of the announcement. For more information on the qualifications for this position, visit the Office of Personnel Management’s General Schedule Qualification Standards.

Your application and resume must clearly show that you possess the experience requirements. Transcripts must be provided for qualifications based on education. Provide course descriptions as necessary.

To receive consideration for this position, you must provide updated required documents and meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Basic Requirement:

Degree: Biological sciences, agriculture, natural resources management, chemistry or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major course of study in biological sciences, agriculture or natural resources management, chemistry or at least 24 semester hours in biological sciences, natural resources, wildland fire management, forestry, or agriculture equivalent to a major field of study, plus appropriate experience or additional education that is comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in the biological sciences, agriculture, or natural resources.

In addition to meeting the basic requirement, you must also possess experience and/or directly related education in the amounts listed below.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Specialized Experience Requirement:

GS-12: Applicants must display one year specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-11 grade level. Examples of specialized experience are: Reviewing and evaluating fire management plans for ecological soundness and technical adequacy; conducting field inspections before and after prescribed or wildland fires to determine if resource objectives were achieved and/or to evaluate the effectiveness of actions taken; and developing analyses on the ecological role of fire and its use and/or exclusion, and smoke management.

Selective Placement Factors:

A minimum 90 days experience performing on-the-line (Primary/Rigorous) wildland fire suppression duties as a member of an organized fire suppression crew or comparable unit that utilized knowledge of wildland fire suppression, containment or control techniques and practices under various conditions. This experience must be documented with specific dates in the online application or resume.

FIREFIGHTER RETIREMENT COVERAGE: This is a secondary position covered under the special retirement provisions of 5 USC 8336(c) for the Civil Service Retirement System and of 5 USC 8412(d) for the Federal Employees Retirement System.

WORK CAPACITY TEST (WCT) for Wildland Firefighters: This position participates in wildland firefighting activities. Based on the type of work performed, TAKING and PASSING the WCT at the ARDUOUS, MODERATE, or LIGHT level is a condition of employment.

TIME IN GRADE REQUIREMENT: If you are a current federal employee in the General Schedule (GS) pay plan and applying for a promotion opportunity, you must meet time-in-grade (TIG) requirements of 52 weeks of service at the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the position being filled. This requirement must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Additional information
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) or Reemployment Priority List (RPL): To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.

Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary and term employees the opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years and the last temporary or term appointment must have been with the Forest Service. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Part-time and intermittent service will be credited only for time actually worked. Non-pay status such as leave without pay is credited for up to six months in a calendar year; anything beyond six months is not credited. Applicants are responsible for providing sufficient information/documentation to determine if the 24 month criteria is met.

The duty station for this position will be considered REMOTE and will be confirmed at time of selection. Salary range as shown is the locality pay Rest of U.S. (RUS). Pay rates vary by location. Please visit the Office of Personnel Management’s website for additional information on pay rates.

This is a Detail/Temporary Promotion not-to-exceed (NTE) 1 year but may be extended additional 2 years for a total of 3 years, or may end earlier due to lack of work or funds, or at the discretion of the Hiring Manager. The employee will be returned to a position that is comparable to his or her permanent position (i.e., same series, grade, and duty location) and your salary will be adjusted to the grade level and step that you would normally have been in had you remained in your position.
This position is eligible for telework.

This is a non-bargaining unit position.

Forest Service daycare facilities and Government Housing are not available.

USAJOBS Daily Saved Search Results for Agriculture jobs in Hawaii for 8/17/2021

Supervisory Civil Engineer (Direct Hire)
Department: Department of Agriculture –
Agency: Natural Resources Conservation Service –
Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): vacancies – Honolulu, Hawaii
Salary: $95,012.00 to $123,516.00 / PA
Series and Grade: GS-0810-13
Open Period: 2021-08-17 to 2021-08-23
Position Information: Permanent – Full-time
Who May Apply: Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL), Open to the public

NPS releases short film on endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers

Maui News –

The National Park Service has released a new short film called “Drawing Connections: Haleakala National Park,” which sheds light on how climate change is impacting the park’s most critically endangered species, Hawaiian honeycreepers.

With only 17 species remaining, some with fewer than 500 individuals left, honeycreepers are a unique group of forest birds found only in Hawaii that once encompassed more than 50 species.

The National Park Service said in a news release that avian malaria, a disease transmitted by invasive Culex mosquitoes, is driving the extinction of forest birds in Hawaii; a single bite by an infected mosquito can kill an ‘i’iwi.

“It is becoming very clear that the changing climate patterns are now allowing disease-carrying mosquitoes to reach our native forest birds at the highest elevations that they occur,” said Chris Warren, forest bird biologist at Haleakala National Park. “This is no longer a matter of disease simply limiting the range of these birds.”

As the climate warms, mosquitoes carrying avian malaria are moving upslope into the last refugia for Hawaii’s forest birds.

“We are on the brink of losing a number of species in the next few years as a direct result of changing temperature and precipitation patterns,” Warren said. “If we cannot control avian malaria and its mosquito vector, we will lose these species, and my heart breaks to say that.”

To watch the film and learn more about climate change and forest birds, visit www.nps .gov/hale/learn/nature/saving-our-forest-birds.htm.

To learn more about climate change impacts in national parks, visit www.nps.gov/subjects/climatechange/index.htm.

$1 trillion infrastructure deal heads to House, Hawaii expected to receive $2.8 billion if passed


An estimated $2.8 billion of a $1 trillion infrastructure deal passed by the Senate on Tuesday might be headed to Hawaii sooner than later.

The Senate gave approval to the $1 trillion infrastructure plan that will fund the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act after weeks of back and forth talks, paving way to some much needed assistance for Hawaii’s roads.

The deal would give states money to repair roads and bridges, make roads more resilient to climate change, improve public transportation options for residents and strengthen high-speed internet access.

“Billions of federal dollars for Hawaii are in this bill to help us fix up our roads and bridges, and create thousands of new jobs across the state,” said Senator Schatz, who voted on the bill. “This massive investment will make it safer and easier for Hawai‘i families to get around, while helping grow our local economy.”

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Included in the plan is legislation, authored by Senator Schatz, that aims to improve road safety standards and make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Key provisions in the infrastructure deal for Hawaii include:

Roads, bridges, and major projects – at least $1.5 billion

At least $1.2 billion in estimated funding will be used to repair and rebuild roads with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience and safety for all road users.
At least $339 million from the Bridge Program will work to repair and replace deficient or outdated bridges.
Hawaii will have access to nearly $16 billion in nationwide funding for major projects.
Access to $7.5 billion for competitive RAISE grants will support surface transportation projects of local and/or regional significance.

Public transit – at least $637.4 million

Funding will be used to help repair and expand Hawai‘i’s public transit system, including a historic investment in cleaner and safer buses.

Airports – at least $246 million

Funding will be used to improve runways, gates, taxiways and terminals and make investments that will reduce congestion and emissions, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies.
Access to $5 billion in nationwide funding from the Airport Terminal Program for major terminal renovations and expansions.

Broadband – at least $160 million

At least $100 million in funding will be used to help the state deploy and expand broadband access to more Hawaii families
The Department of Hawaiian Homelands is set to receive at least $60 million to provide high-speed internet access to Native Hawaiian families.
At least 280,000 Hawaii residents will be eligible for a new broadband benefit aimed at helping low-income families afford high-speed internet access.
Funding will also support the construction of new broadband infrastructure, including undersea cables.

Water infrastructure – at least $200.4 million

A total of $88 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to improve drinking water treatment, pipes and water storage tanks.
An additional $112.4 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to help support municipal wastewater facilities and treatment systems.
Access to $10 billion to address Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
Access to $250 million in grants for low-income households for the construction, repair or replacement of individual decentralized wastewater treatment systems

Electric vehicles – at least $18 million

Funding to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Hawaii to enable long-distance travel and to provide convenient charging where people live and work.
Access to an additional $2.5 billion in nationwide grant funding dedicated to EV and alternative fuels charging infrastructure.
Access to $5 billion to replace existing school buses with zero emission and clean school buses, with a priority on low income, rural and tribal schools.

Clean energy and grid – at least $3 million

Funding includes at least $3 million from the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program to pursue state-led initiatives that accelerate our clean energy transition.
Access to $3 billion in matching grants for smart grid investments, including energy storage.
Access to $500 million in competitive grants to make energy efficiency, renewable energy and vehicle upgrades at public schools.
Access to an additional $550 million in nationwide funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

Resiliency – $11 billion (nationwide)

Hawaii has access to nearly $1.3 billion in nationwide funding for coastal habitat restoration to increase resilience.
Access to $1 billion for resilience infrastructure through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program.
Access to $8 billion from the new Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) program, which provides formula and competitive funding for resilience improvement grants, community resilience and evacuation route grants and at-risk coastal infrastructure grants.

Street safety – $5 billion (nationwide)

Funds a new program to help state and local governments implement “vision zero” plans and other improvements to reduce crashes and fatalities, especially for cyclists and pedestrians.

Flood mitigation – $7 billion (nationwide)

Access to $7 billion in nationwide funding to support flood control projects that protect vulnerable communities from sea level rise and extreme weather.

Ports and waterways – $16.6 billion (nationwide)

Access to new funding for waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, and port infrastructure.

Addressing Legacy Pollution – $21 billion (nationwide)

Access to $1.5 billion in nationwide funding for brownfields remediation.
Access to $3.5 billion for Superfund cleanup.

The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

USAJOBS Daily Saved Search Results for Agriculture jobs in Hawaii for 8/10/2021

Biological Science Laboratory Technician
Department: Department of Agriculture
Agency: Agricultural Research Service
Number of Job Opportunities & Location(s): 1 vacancy – Hilo, Hawaii
Salary: $40,534.00 to $52,694.00 / PA
Series and Grade: GS-0404-6
Open Period: 2021-08-10 to 2021-08-19
Position Information: Term – Full-time
Who May Apply: Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL), Open to the public

Kualoa Ranch uses oysters to organically clean its fishpond and newspapers with banana and coconut leaves to grow taro with less weeding

By Anna Stephenson –

Farmers and researchers are using oysters in a more than 800-year-old loko ia, or fishpond, on Kualoa Ranch, blending Hawaiian heritage and today’s innovation to overcome problems pre-contact Hawaiian farmers did not have to face. The problems include not having enough fish to eat pond algae and a lack of banana and coconut leaves to help grow taro better by keeping down weeds, they said.

In fact, according to Kuuipo Mccarty, fishpond caretaker and “oyster maiden” at the ranch, Kualoa Ranch has become home to Hawaii’s only loko ia that can sell the oysters used to clean the water in the pond as food.

“There are projects in Hawaii using native oysters to clean contaminated water. You shouldn’t eat those oysters.” The oysters Mccarty raises, however, are “delicious and sweet” because so many years have gone into cleaning the water of the ranch’s loko ia.

At some point, carnivorous fish were introduced to the loko ia, she said. Thus, so many herbivorous fish were being eaten there wasn’t enough fish to eat the algae that grows there. Soon, the loko ia had nearly three quarters of its surface covered in a thick mat of algae, preventing sunlight from reaching much of the pond. Because this was not a problem the ancient Hawaiians would have encountered, she said there was no age-old wisdom on how to combat it.

Mccarty credits former Kulaloa Ranch employee Bruce Anderson with the new addition to restore the loko ia to its former function. By adding oysters to the pond, the algae began to clear up.

“An adult oyster can filter-feed about 25 gallons of water a day, on average,” said Mccarty, holding the palm-sized shell of one in her hand. “They feed on the nutrients the algae would eat.”

Dr. Anthony Mau works as the diverse agriculture manager and oversees food production at Kualoa Ranch, including the growth of taro. He received a doctorate from the University of Hawaii with a specialized background in aquaculture.

Mau said aquaculture often gets a “bad rap” because aquaculture projects in the past have polluted nearby waterways with excess fertilizers and nutrients. Oysters, however, actually improve water quality. While the water in Kualoa Ranch’s loko ia already passes a stringent 15-series quality test set by the FDA to allow the ranch to sell its oysters as food, the water at other locations around Hawaii is still in the process of being cleaned, said Mau.

He also came up with a way to preserve ancient Hawaiian tradition while making adjustments to suit available resources to grow taro. “It’s not just for show,” Mau said of their loi kalo, which are rectangular ponds with mud heaped into long “mo’o” or “lizard-style” mounds planted with a row of taro. According to Mau, growing the taro in this way maximizes yields. “It’s authentic, and it makes sense to be authentic. This is what’s meant to grow here. … When planting, you need to listen to what the climate is saying.”

Traditionally, Mau said after the taro were planted, banana and coconut leaves were placed around the stems to prevent weeds from sprouting and water from evaporating. Banana and coconut leaves were a plentiful resource in pre-contact Hawaii, but not so much today because coconuts and bananas no longer grow as plentifully. However, without them, the mo’o quickly become covered in grass, impeding the growth of the taro as they suck up nutrients.

Mau’s solution to the problem, he said, was inspired by a common practice in Japan where gardeners use old newspaper as mulch. By covering the mud with a thick layer of newspaper before adding the banana or coconut leaves, the same effect can be achieved with less leaves. Following this practice allows Kualoa’s farmers to stretch their supply of leaves further. Additionally, Mau said newspaper is plentiful and actually improves the quality of the soil by adding carbon back into it as it breaks down.

“There used to be over 300 varieties of taro, but many of them have died out,” said Mau. “A lot of the loi were converted into rice paddies when the Chinese and Japanese immigrants came, but nowadays a lot of people are growing taro [in those places] again. … Taro, along with sweet potato and ulu [breadfruit], is at the forefront of Hawaiian agriculture.”

Kualoa Ranch’s popular Taste of Kualoa tour, which takes visitors through its agricultural sections and allows them to sample what is being grown and harvested, reopened in April.

Ahupuaa system
For thousands of years, native Hawaiians used a special agricultural system called ahupuaa, which covered everything from the mountains to the sea, to sustain a population similar in size to the one in Hawaii today. Although much of this old land has now been developed, Mau said, the agricultural techniques the native Hawaiians used to grow food still work best.

Amy Campbell, who lives in the town of Volcano on the Big Island, has a degree in sustainability and works for a large conservation group. She studied the ahupuaa systems on Maui and said they are incredible.

“When I first started studying systems, I was shocked at how intricate it was,” she said. “They used the waterflow that naturally occurred to irrigate a number of fields.” She said the taro was typically kept at the top, with other crops, like ulu, at the bottom. According to her, people are typically shocked when they learn how much food the ahupuaa system produces. She said pre-contact Hawaiians and those who maintain the practices today are “incredible botanists.”

The loko ia, or fishpond, is traditionally built where the ahupuaa meets the coastal plain, Campbell explained. “If I was going to scientifically go in and design the ideal fishpond, I don’t think I could match what they did,” she said. “They were ingeniously designed.” Fish enter the loko ia while small and grow large within its walls by eating algae. Because of this, she said Hawaiians ate almost exclusively herbivorous fish that were low on the food chain.

To harvest the fish out of the loko ia, she said they used a plant called ʻākia to stun them. It’s just poisonous enough to the fish to temporarily immobilize them, but completely harmless to humans. After the harvest, the fish that weren’t eaten were released back into the ocean, where the ʻākia wore off and the fish “came magically back to life. That plant was endemic and only found in Hawaii, so they learned about that and used it,” said Campbell.

While using a loko ia to collect fish is no longer a common practice, restoring them is a hot topic among preservationists. In Haleiwa, the Malama Loko Ea Foundation works tirelessly to restore the Loko Ea fishpond. On its website, it describes Loko Ea as “a sacred space for the community of pae ʻāina o Hawaiʻi” because it’s a place to practice culture, share heritage and celebrate community.

The website says the group has two sand-dune ponds in Waialua connected to the ocean through a stream or ditch. “Connected physically through the streams and freshwater springs, they are also spiritually connected, as both are the home to Laniwahine, the moʻowahine female water guardian of the two fishponds. Together, they make up the third largest existing wetland on the island of Oahu.”

The Malama Loko Ea Foundation runs community workdays every Saturday between 9 and 11 a.m. Under current COVID-19 protocols, participants must pre-register groups between three and 10 people on its website.

Other aspects of the ahupuaa system, such as the loi kalo or taro fields, are also actively preserved around Oahu and on the BYU–Hawaii campus. One such example is a community nonprofit in Hakipuu Valley, Hoʻāla ʻᾹina Kūpono. The Hakipuu loi kalo has been tended to using traditional techniques for hundreds of years without interruption, says the Hoʻāla ʻᾹina Kūpono website. According to the Trust for Public Land, more than $1 million was raised in 2016 in order to preserve the loi kalo. Today, the nonprofit is still growing taro and the space is an outdoor classroom for students of restorative agriculture.

BYUH also participates in restorative agriculture by growing various native plants using traditional techniques in the Hawaiian studies garden. A similar arrangement can be observed on a visit to Waimea Valley.

However, restoration isn’t the only way to keep native Hawaiian agriculture alive. Other places where modern farming techniques are combined with tradition, allowing farmers to grow both native and introduced plants, include Kahuku Farms and the farms at the Polynesian Cultural Center.