Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hawaii and California forests dedicated in February

Maui County, HI, Waikamoi Ridge Trail. L to R, Joan Maloof, Dorothy McCoy, Don Martell, Kitty Edwards.

In February the Old-Growth Forest Network held dedications for four forests. The first was the Maui County, Hawaii forest. The Maui dedication was held in conjunction with an opportunity to speak about the Network at an event held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. There were four presenters and poet W.S. Merwin was right after me! I was so honored that he mentioned me during his talk. He got a well-deserved standing ovation -- what a lovely, generous person he is.

In Maui County, although I had hiked all over (both on previous trips and this one) looking for accessible, mature, native forest, nothing of the kind could be found. After long discussions with the helpful people in the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and discussions with locals knowledgeable about the forests, I came to the sad conclusion that there are no native older forests on Maui that are readily accessible. The state-owned old-growth is "land-locked" (surrounded by privately owned land). The forest I chose for the Network has a lovely tall canopy and a nice trail, but it is not native. I am hoping that someday this situation will change and I can put a native forest into the Network instead.

While on Maui I learned about the fascinating and endangered wiliwili trees and toured their dryland forest habitat.

Honolulu County, HI, Kulana'ahane Trail; Sheryl Lynch (County Coordinator) and Joan Maloof
In Honolulu County, on the island of Oahu, we dedicated a great trail into the Network. Starting from Moanalua Valley Park a shady dirt road surrounded by big trees leads to the trailhead. The trail winds under and through a fairy-land like forest. Energetic hikers can climb the ridge for fantastic views.

Monterey County, CA, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park; L to R, David Maloof (County Coordinator), Joan Maloof, Matt Khalar (ranger), Heidi Hopkins.
In Monterey County, CA, we held a dedication of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. This is a perfect forest for the Network with its well-maintained trails, and giant old-growth redwood and sequoia trees. The park staff was a pleasure to work with!

San Mateo County, CA, Heritage Grove in Sam McDonald Park, Matt Dietz (County Coordinator), Joan Maloof, Jamie Phillips.
This San Mateo County, CA, forest had already been added to the Network, but on this trip we had a chance to hang the sign and hold a dedication. The Heritage Grove in Sam McDonald County Park is another ideal Network addition; true old-growth redwood forest with a family-friendly trail. This forest is already listed on our website:

Thanks to all our coordinators, supporters, and land managers who made these dedications possible!

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