HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 1589
TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2011
STATE OF HAWAII
H.B. NO. 1589 H.D.1
A BILL FOR AN ACT
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that cacao of the theobroma cacao tree, the dried and fermented seed from which chocolate is made, is native to the central and western Amazon region and is widely distributed throughout the humid tropical regions with commercial production concentrated in Brazil, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
The legislature finds that the cacao industry in Hawaii is in its infancy stage with fewer than thirty growers and a total acreage of approximately fifty acres, but holds the promise of helping diversified agriculture markets. The University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources has conducted a series of meetings, including the one-day workshop entitled “Future of Cacao in Hawaii’ held October 23, 2008, involving key stakeholders in the local cacao industry and representatives statewide to strategize on methods for positioning Hawaii in the growing cacao market.
by Diana Duff
Many gardeners in Hawaii have become native plant enthusiasts. More and more people are awakening to the beauty of our native species and learning about them and the vigilance required to save them from harm or eventual extinction. Events like Arbor Day at Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, offering free native plants and information on growing them, help folks learn ways to grow and care for native plants. Interest in these plants, which have thrived in our native forests for millennia, helps raise awareness of the threats a multitude of invasive species pose to them.
One particularly threatening species, the autograph, or signature, tree (Clusia rosea) caught the notice of Darcy Ames, who has witnessed firsthand the encroachment of this species on the ohia forests near her home.
“When I first bought property in Holualoa, I thought the autograph tree was quite lovely,” Ames said. “After a few years of experience, inspection and investigation, I began to realize this tree was capable of destroying the habitat of our ohia and other native species unless we began a proactive course against it.
“After witnessing the damage it can cause, I can honestly say that I hate what this plant is capable of doing. Autograph seeds can be dropped by birds and root as much as 20 or 30 feet in the air in the crotch of an ohia tree.