Maui News

Kahikinui Koa Forest Protection Plans Call for Fencing and Cabins

March 12, 2012, 9:06 AM HST
* Updated March 12, 10:59 AM
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Lower portion of eastern fence alignment; view south. Photo courtesy Final EA, prepared for DLNR DOFAW, prepared by Garcia & Associates.

By Wendy Osher

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to construct enclosure fencing to protect more than 2,300 acres of native remnant koa forest at Haleakala.

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife also wants to construct a trail system and six back-country cabins to facilitate public access to the area.

Trail alignments and cabin locations are provisional, pending confirmation of the absence of threatened or endangered species and cultural resource sites.

A Final Environmental Assessment found “No Significant Impacts,” and a net positive outcome for the area.

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The native forest is located on the leeward side of Haleakala, on the upland slopes of Kahikinui.  The ungulate-proof fence encompasses the Nakula Natural Area Reserve and portions of the Kahikinui Forest Reserve.

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The Supplemental Environmental Assessment supports the state’s Haleakalā Watershed Restoration Project.  This project is part of an ongoing landscape restoration effort with an overall goal of restoring the native mesic forest in the area.

Fencing is the first step in the long-term restoration effort, with complete forest recovery expected to take decades.

***Supporting information courtesy Final EA, prepared by Garcia & Associates for DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

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