Monday, October 14, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, November 05, 2011
Abercrombie decides Forests Worth $14B of Your Money, Orders $11M spent to Create 150 HGEA, UPW Positions
By News Release @ 11:06 PM :: 4611 Views :: Energy, Environment

Governor Abercrombie Unveils Plan To Protect Hawaii's Water Sources

“The best time to start protecting our mauka watersheds was decades ago. The second best time is now.”

News Release from www.Hawaii.gov/gov Nov 3, 2011 

Honolulu – In an effort to save Hawai'i’s forests and protect our water sources, Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced a comprehensive action plan titled, “The Rain Follows the Forests.”

“Hawai'i’s forests are in trouble – more than half of our forests have been overrun because they were victim to the most damaging invasive species,” said Governor Abercrombie. “We must work to reverse the grave decline of the islands’ life-giving forests to sustain and enrich current and future generations.”

Currently, only 10 percent of the priority watershed forests are protected; a level of management that has taken 40 years to achieve. The Rain Follows the Forests, which is derived from a common Hawaiian saying (Hahai no ka ua i ka ululâ 'au) calls for necessary stewardship of natural resources. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has made securing the future of our water supply a priority and created this action plan to meet the following goals:

  • Remove or contain damaging invasive weeds that threaten priority areas
  • Invasive weeds degrade native forests; some invasive plants also consume more water than indigenous species. For example, a forest of alien strawberry guava trees can evaporate 27 percent more water than native 'ôhi'a forests.
  • Monitor and control other forest threats including fires, predators, and plant diseases
  • Restore and plant native species in priority areas and buffer areas
  • Establish benchmarks and monitor success of the on-the-ground actions
  • Educate residents and visitors about the cultural, economic, and environmental importance of conserving native forests
  • Promote consistent and informed land use decision-making that protects watersheds

These goals aim to double the amount of protected watershed areas in 10 years. It will require approximately $11 million per year and would provide for over 150 new natural resource careers.

“I am committed to working with the Legislature on finding creative ways to fund this plan,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “Investing in the protection of fresh water sources must be the highest priority for Hawai'i’s public leaders and the Department of Land and Natural Resources."

The proposed state funding for the Plan will be leveraged by working with watershed partnerships, alliances that protect and restore our mauka forests across property boundaries. Meeting the goals of the Plan will be essential to the success of realizing the vision for sustainability provided by Governor Abercrombie’s “A New Day In Hawai'i” Comprehensive Plan.

Paul Conry, Administrator of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, said, "Today, with a growing population, declining forests and water supplies, and climate change accelerating those declines, the need to adequately protect and expand our forests remains is even greater.”

DLNR Chairperson William Ailâ, Jr. added, “Protecting forests benefits more than our water supply. As a fisherman, I know that mauka and makai are connected. Without forests to hold the soil, heavy rains will cause erosion that pollutes our beaches, reefs, and fisheries. Everything is affected downstream.”

“Investing in our most precious natural resource makes economic sense for agriculture, environment and our future drinking source,” said Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, chairman of the Water Land and Housing Committee. “We need to be responsible and diligent in pursuing the protection of our finite water supply.”

Securing funding will also require partnerships from private, federal, and other sources.

“We must work together to ensure that we all benefit from healthy watershed forests, regardless of land ownership,” added Lisa Ferentinos, coordinator of the DOFAW Watershed Partnerships Program. “Managing mauka lands as partnerships mean threats are addressed more economically since we pool resources and expertise and reduce redundancy, while increasing the capacity and desire of landowners to protect their forests.”

Board of Land and Natural Resources member and senior scientist and cultural advisor for The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i Sam ‘Ohu Gon III said, “Hawaiian traditions regard these mauka forests as sacred, and the plants and animals within them as our 'aumakua – our elders and ancestors. Damage and loss of these forests chips away at the foundation of our cultural identity.”

Forests also absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, reducing Hawai'i’s greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason the Plan includes actions to increase Hawai'i’s ability to withstand hotter and drier trends in climate.

Studies have shown that since 1990, statewide winter rainfall has been 12 percent lower and continues to decline.

UH Mânoa Professor of Geography Tom Giambelluca noted, “Temperatures are steadily rising, while cloud cover lessens – meaning more water is evaporating. On the ground, this means lower stream flows and less ground water recharge. Forests are a major part of the water equation because they intercept water from the clouds and reduce direct runoff.”

According to James Roumasset, a professor of Economics at UH Mânoa who has conducted studies measuring the forests’ importance to Hawai'i’s economy, Hawai'i’s forests are huge economic assets.

“The Ko'olau mountain forests alone have been valued at up to $14 billion. Groundwater recharge is the primary factor; however the forests are also important for water quality, climate control, biodiversity, and cultural, aesthetic, recreational, and commercial values,” stated Roumasset.

The Rain Follows the Forest plan is available online at Hawaii.gov/gov and Hawaii.gov/dlnr and at http://hawaii.gov/gov.

Photographic images of Hawai'i watershed areas can be downloaded from: http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/nars/the-rain-follows-the-forest

###

 

 

 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT