Statewide Forestry Forums

With generous support from the Alexander and Baldwin Foundation, HFI presented four forestry forums on four Hawaiian Islands.  The forums strengthen awareness of forest management projects and explored how these efforts and partnerships make an important difference to the natural environments and communities of the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawai‘i Island Forum
The Hawai‘i Island Forum was held on February 25, 2010 at the Kalaemanō Cultural Center in North Kona.  This informal talk story, titled “Mauka-Makai: Ka‘ūpūlehu Connections Not Forgotten” addressed ahupua‘a perspectives connecting land and people mauka-makai, through a cultural ecology partnership. A slide presentation by cultural educators Ku‘ulei Keakealani, Yvonne Yarber Carter, and Keoki Apokolani Carter, and Site Manager Wilds Pihanui Brawner covered vital components in the perpetuation of a dynamic Ka‘ūpūlehu dryland forest and coastal ecosystem including restoration, science, and cultural history.

O‘ahu Forum
The O‘ahu Forum, moderated by HFI President Dr. Travis Idol, was held on March 26, 2010 at the Honolulu Academy Arts Center.  The presentation, titled Koa: Standing the Test of Time, presented information on the history and future of koa forests as one of Hawaii’s most ecologically, culturally, and economically important tree species. The forum generated renewed interest in the importance of trees and forests to the economic, ecological, and social well-being of Hawai‘i. Keynote Speaker Dr. Paul Scowcroft gave a compelling presentation on koa as an actively managed native forest species and provided a broader perspective highlighting the importance of continuing efforts at conservation, restoration, and sustainable management.

Kaua‘i Forum
The Kaua‘i Forum, which was moderated by Stephen E.S. Smith, was held on April 9, 2010 at Kukui‘ula Village, followed by lunch and a field trip of Kukui‘ula.s grounds.  The forum, titled The Timelessness of Hawaii’s Forests presented an overview of Kauai’s forests and ongoing projects–from wilderness to urban forestry.

Kaua‘i Forum topics and speakers included:
•    Kukui‘ula Landscape Introduction: Roger Peckenpaugh, Landscape Project Manager
•    Overview of Kauai’s Forests: Stephen E.S. Smith, Forestry Management Consultants HI
•    The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Recent Accomplishments on Kaua‘i: Alan Rietow, TNC
•    Overview of Projects at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG): Dr. David Burney, NTBG

Roger Peckenpaugh guided the field trip, which provided a look into Kukui‘ula’s landscape vision for the “Living Garden” by exploring plants, pathways, and parks as well as opportunities associated with urban forestry and community landscapes.

Maui Forum

Mark Vaught presents a talk about East Maui Irrigation Co.

The Maui Forum was held on May 8, 2010 at the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) Pu‘unene factory.  The Maui Forestry Forum, moderated by Nick Dudley, explored the interconnections of Maui’s forests and watersheds, combined with a special field and factory tour of HC&S, Maui’s largest agricultural operation.  Four speakers from Maui’s natural resource community presented a broad range of topics and introduced attendees to an overview of Maui’s forests, watersheds and ongoing projects–from wilderness to urban forestry and agriculture.

Maui Forum topics and speakers included:
•    Reforestation of Polipoli: Lance De Silva, Protection Forester, DOFAW
•    East Maui Irrigation Co.: Mark Vaught, East Maui Irrigation Co.
•    Haleakala Ranch: Scott Meidel, Haleakala Ranch Vice President and Land Manager
•    Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center (HARC): Nick Dudley, HARC Forestry Program Manager

Following the Forum, HC&S conducted a tour, which included HC&S’s history and plans for the future; processes of growing and harvesting sugarcane; a visit to a Maui skimming well; power production, including hydroelectricity; and a demonstration of the state-of-the-art equipment in use.