By Wendy Osher
The state is proposing the construction of an enclosure fence around approximately 2,350 acres of native remnant koa forest on the Leeward side of Haleakala.
The ungulate-proof fencing is designed to protect the watershed area from degradation, and initiate a process for long-term recovery of the forest habitat for dozens of native threatened and endangered plant and animal species.
The Kahikinui Koa restoration project also includes plans for the construction of a trail system and six backcountry cabins.
Trail alignments for the 19.8 kilometer system and cabin locations, are provisional, pending field confirmation of the absence of threatened or endangered species and cultural resource sites.
According to the Draft Environmental Assessment for the project, the efforts are expected to help with the regeneration of the native upland canopy.
The Draft EA, filed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Forestry and Wildlife Division, shows an anticipated finding of No Significant Impact.
A 30-day public comment period on the document ends on January 21, 2012.
The document is available for public viewing at the following direct LINK .