Public Input Sought on Maui’s Kula and Kahikinui Forest Reserves
The state is seeking public input and comments on a draft forest reserve management plan for the Kula Forest Reserve and the Papa‘anui tract of the Kahikinui Forest Reserve on the island of Maui.
The Division of Forestry and Wildlife is also seeking public input on a draft forest reserve management plan for the Pūpūkea Forest Reserve on the island of O‘ahu.
These plans are part of a series of site-specific plans to be prepared by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife for individual forest reserves throughout the State.
Generally, management plans include a brief history of the specific forest reserve, a complete record of land transactions and boundary changes over time, a description of natural and cultural resources, as well as an account of infrastructure and intended use(s) of the area.
Plans will serve to: (1) provide information on the natural resources of the reserve; (2) prioritize implementation of management objectives; (3) assist in preparation of regulatory compliance documents required to implement management actions outlined in the plan; (4) support DOFAW efforts to secure funding for plan objectives; and (5) solicit requests for proposals or bids to implement plan objectives.
The management plan approval process includes review by DOFAW branch and administrative staff, partner agency and public consultation, approval by the administrator of DOFAW, and finally, approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Pūpūkea Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s proclamation on May 5, 1910, to conserve and protect the remaining forest and increase local water supply. Located on the north shore of Oʻahu, the reserve consists of approximately 782 acres of public land.
Vegetation is primarily composed of non-native species, although some native vegetation still exists in the southeast portion of the reserve.
Current management activities include the maintenance of infrastructure for public access and recreation. Hiking, camping, and hunting are allowed in Pūpūkea Forest Reserve.
Kula Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s proclamation on September 11, 1912, with a purpose different from most other forest reserves. The reserve was established with the intent to reforest the area that had been converted to pasture after 20 years of livestock grazing. Establishing forest cover around Polipoli Spring, which at the time was considered the only permanent source of water on the southern end of Haleakalā, was one of the underlying reasons for creating the Kula Forest Reserve.
Kahikinui Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s proclamation on December 22, 1928. The overarching goal at Kahikinui was to improve the vegetative cover in the area to “prevent excessive runoff and make water on the lower lands available for use in the intervening dry periods, where it is almost always at a premium.”
The Forest Reserve System in Hawai‘i encompasses approximately 684,000 acres of conservation land. It was created in 1903 to protect forests and other watershed areas to ensure an ample water supply for the people of Hawai‘i.
“The Forest Reserve System in Hawai‘i contributes to the public’s source of fresh water, provides recreational opportunities, forest products, and a wealth of cultural and natural resources,” said David Smith, Division of Forestry and Wildlife administrator. “The management plans provide a historical context and current description of resources within these forest reserves, in addition to providing guidance for future management activities.”
Draft management plans will be posted on the DLNR DOFAW website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/frs/reserves/management-plans/ Please submit written comments by July 31, 2017, to:
Jan Pali, Forestry and Watershed Planner
Division of Forestry and Wildlife
Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325
Honolulu, HI 96813
If anyone desires this information in an alternate format, please contact Jan Pali at 808-587-4166.