Maui News

Funding Considered for Kahikinui Watershed Protection and Haleakala Koa Forest Restoration

March 10, 2010, 8:19 AM HST
* Updated March 10, 8:35 AM
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By Wendy Osher

The state will consider the expenditure of more than $1 million in federal funds for six landowner incentive program projects across Hawaii.  Nearly half of the funding would go to Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development Inc. for watershed forest protection at Kahikinui, Maui.  The allocation would be used to protect an estimated 1500 acres of Hawaiian Homelands land that provides essential recovery habitat for 10 endangered plant species.  Plans call for the design and installation of six miles of fencing to protect high value dry and mesic forest areas from deer and ungulate damage.

File Photo by Wendy Osher.

The same company (Tri Isle Resource Conservation & Development, Inc.) would get an additional $210,277 for the restoration of koa forests located on the leeward slopes Haleakala on Maui.  The funds would be used for the delineation of 7700 acres for habitat restoration in native koa forest areas that encompass critical habitat for 10 endangered plant species and five endangered bird species.  Plans also call for the completion of an Environmental Assessment for habitat restoration in the Leeward Haleakala watershed, public outreach and education on watershed issues, solicitation of volunteer support, and the implementation of a long-term inventory and monitoring strategy for rare plant species, canopy cover, invasive weeds, and birds.

The program was developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enhance, protect and restore habitats that benefit federally listed, proposed, or endangered species on private lands.

Other contracts seeking authorization include the following:

  • $176,450 to Hawaiian Silversword Foundation for North Kona Fencing and Habitat Resortation.
  • $62,000 to ‘Ohu’Ohu Ko’olau, Inc. for the protection of the Lower Peahinaia Ecosystem.
  • $66,000 to The Nature Conservancy for the management of ungulates at the Wainiha Preserve.
  • $36,000 to the Hawaiian Silversword Foundation for the Restoration of Hawaiian Dry Forests.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources will consider the request at a meeting tomorrow, Thursday, March 11, 2010.  The award of contracts is contingent upon board approval and receipt of funds from the USFWS.  It is also subject to potential budget restrictions and procedures implemented under the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Executive Biennium Budget Instructions.

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