Fences protect 8,000 acres of Kaua‘i wilderness


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.

Limited Time to Change Hunting Rules

Conservation Council for Hawaii News Release

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing revisions to Hawaii Administrative Rules relating to hunting and game, and asking the public for their feedback. This is an opportunity to urge the state to change the hunting and game management paradigm to reduce the damage caused by introduced continental feral ungulates and game mammals, and provide more opportunities for hunters to help control animals and bring home the meat.

Final Environmental Assessment for a Fence Project to Protect The East Maui Watershed

Findings, and Reasons Supporting Determination
EA Preparation information

Build Phase I and Phase 2 Fences as Proposed
As outlined in Section 11-200-12 of the Hawaii Environmental Impact Statement Rules, no significant neptive impacts to the environment are expected to result from the implementation of the proposed activities.

Findings, and Reasons Supporting Determination

In the long term, all activities are expected to be beneficial, or to have no negative effect. The proposed fences are expected to benefit native species (including rare and endangered plants and animals), native natural communities, and important watershed on windward East Maui. By reducing browsing and ocher types 0f ungulate damage (including the spread 0f certain weeds), the proposed fences, and the control measures that will follow fence construction, will help promote a more stable water regime, and protect native plants and animals within the project area. These actions are also expected to allow passive restoration of native areas previousLy damaged by feral pigs.

The risk of significant negative impact is low. Through a rigorous cleaning and monitoring program, the introduction or spread of new weed species by humans is expected to be minimal. Management-related impacts on historical resources in the area will be avoided

Preparation information

This Environmental Assessment was prepared on behalf of the East Maui Watershed Partnership by:

Wendy Fulks, Project Manager
The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii
1116 Smith Street, Suite 201
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
(808) 5374508