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Thursday, September 7, 2000

Nature Conservancy
aims to protect

The community is asked
to help save native species
in the Waianae preserve

By Harold Morse

The Nature Conservancy seeks community and volunteer help to protect more than 70 species of rare and endangered native Hawaiian plants and animals in the 3,692-acre Honouliuli Preserve in the steep Waianae Mountains.

Ten years after leasing the wild, rugged tract and important watershed from Campbell Estate and becoming its land manager, Nature Conservancy says Honouliuli Preserve is more than a refuge for rare and endangered species.

The preserve is also a site for research and education, community service, cultural preservation and a place to enjoy open space.

The purpose of a draft master plan is to direct strategies and actions related to resource management and public involvement during the next five years.

The nonprofit conservancy seeks partnerships and strong community support. It views a master plan in the works as a living document subject to change.

Some 30 people were told last night at Waianae Public Library that comments on the draft will be accepted until Sept. 22. They may be mailed to Pauline Sato, The Nature Conservancy-Oahu Program, P.O. Box 971665, Waipahu, HI 96797. The email is

Joan Yoshioka, natural resources manager, said the preserve lies on the western flank of the southern Waianae Mountains -- with Lualualei to the to the north and Nanakuli to the southwest.

Most endangered species are in upper elevations and gulches, and the site also includes six native natural communities, she said.

Nature Conservancy is giving high priority to cultural resource management of sites once used by early Hawaiians and sites connected to legends and events. There is a hiking zone, with two guided hikes each month.

When James Campbell purchased the land in 1877, he drove about 30,000 head of cattle out of what is now Honouliuli Preserve because cattle grazing had denuded slopes of vegetation, Yoshioka said.

Later, 1.5-million non-native trees were planted to halt erosion, and the Civilian Conservation Corps built roads and trails in the 1930s, she said. Major threats to the preserve are wildfires, invasive alien plants and alien animals such as feral goats and pigs. Although no goats remain, pigs are widespread.

Lance La Pierre, community outreach specialist, said 330 responses in a public-opinion survey showed most respondents want to protect endangered species, remove feral animals such as pigs and to bring in more volunteers to help manage resources of Honouliuli Preserve.

Nature Conservancy

E-mail to City Desk

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