Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A threatened Hawaiian Forest

During a recent trip to Hawaii I had the opportunity to learn more about the native forests there. The largest trees in the forest are the Ohi'a (pronounced oh-hee-ah), and it is not surprising that they were unfamiliar to me before, since they are endemic to Hawaii -- naturally occurring nowhere else. The next most common "tree" is actually a fern with fronds that unroll many feet overhead, the Hapu'u (pronounced hah-poo-oo) -- another endemic species.

Old-growth forest on Hawaii are composed largely of these two species, and I was saddened to learn that the ancient forests of Hawaii are still being destroyed. One of the most impressive of these forests, 72 acres in Waikaku'u in South Kona, has just been approved for a 14 lot subdivision. Local conservationists are appealing the decision and trying to find a conservation buyer. The price is 1.5 million -- or should I say priceless? Below are some photos of this special place. If you want to help call Patricia Missler at 808-990-2970. Mahalo.

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