Our owner Lacy recently finished the Forest Stewards Program, an extension program presented by University of Hawaii. The Hawai‘i Forest Stewards program is a volunteer program that seeks to educate community leaders in good forest land management and empower them to reach out to their friends and neighbors to improve forest conservation in a peer-to-peer learning context. The program, now in its fifth year, consists of an intensive, three-day workshop on forest land management in Hawai‘i, including Hawaiian natural history, wildlife habitat, tree farming, invasive species, forest health, koa forestry, working with professionals, taxes, estate planning, financial matters, and Hawaiian culture. Half-day classroom sessions will be balanced with afternoon field trips to managed private forests.
Here's a list of takeaways from the experience:
CLEAN YOUR SHOES/TIRES/EQUIPMENT whenever moving from location to location. Fungus, invasive species, seeds, etc. are often microscopic. A quick spray with alcohol, soap and water can save you in the long run.
2. WATER RUN OFF - Run off is a major concern on the island of Hawaii. Often related to land erosion, flooding, etc. Creating a natural swale for water run off can keep erosion to a minimal, while adverting potential flooding.
3. HELP - There is a lot of resources for private land owners interested in conservation. From federal, state to private easements. The University of Hawaii Extension Program connects you to organizations that may be beneficial for your conservation goals. There is not “one answer” for all. Each property has different needs and challenges. The best thing to do is inquire, learn and ask for support!