ML&P Submits Renewed Management Plan at Puu Kukui
By Wendy Osher
Maui Land & Pineapple Company has updated its management plan for the Puu Kukui Watershed Preserve through 2018. The company has been managing programs at the preserve since 1988 in coordination with The Nature Conservancy, and became the first private landowner in the state’s Natural Area Partnership program in 1992.
The Puu Kukui Watershed Preserve was established more than two decades ago to protect watershed forests and associated native plants and animals. At over 8,600 acres, it is one of the largest privately-owned nature preserves in the state.
The preserve is home to at least 36 species of rare plants, three native forest birds, and at least seven species of rare native tree snails. It stretches from the 480 foot elevation at Honokohau Stream to the 5,788 foot elevation at the Pu’u Kukui Summit. The rain forest and the shrub lands of the area serve as a significant water source for both West Maui residents and industries alike.
The management emphasis for the first year of the plan is continued reduction of pig activity, and prevention of axis deer intrusion into the preserve. This includes plans for the creation of an 8-foot deer-proof fence and retrofitting of existing pig fencing. Weed control in the first year of the plan will continue to focus on populations of the African Tulip and Australian tree fern.
A Draft Environmental Assessment has been filed for the plan. Comments are due on March 9, 2011.