Title: Pauoa Bay Reforestation Project

 

Subject: Fire, Flood, Erosion and Re-vegetation

 

Date: February 28, 2008

 

Submitted By: Integrated Living Systems Design, LLC

Neil Logan

PO Box 551754

Kapa’au, HI 96755

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Summary………………………………………………………………………………………….3

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………..4

Goals…………………………………………………………………………………………………8

Management Strategy……………………………………………………………………..9

Description of Management Phase II, Conservation 2008-20010…12

Description of Management Phase III, Restoration 2010-2012…….21

Cost/Benefit Summary…………………………………………………………………….30

Budget……………………………………………………………………………………………..31

References……………………………………………………………………………………….34

Appendix A. Project Timeline………………………………………………………….35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

 

The proposed golf course site, located on the eastern slope of the Puako flood plane, recently incurred damage from wildfire. Forest covered approximately 85% of the site before fire destroyed more than three-quarters (75%) of it, leaving the exposed soil more susceptible to erosion via wind and floodwater. Fire poses an additional and continuing concern as the most recent fire failed to consume all the standing dead wood, and the amount that remains, coupled with the quickly regenerating grassland, constitute a considerable fire danger. The forest is to be integrated into the course layout and is integral to the unique ambience of the course. On the private land, of the approximately 428 acres, 64-100 remain as dense, mature forest with trees 40’ to 60’ in height and 20 meters apart, with many smaller trees crowded around at a tighter spacing. The other 338 – 364 acres burned. The landholders have a plan to construct an 18-hole golf course. The golf course map depicts the course in a forested environment. At least 150 acres of forest is needed to complete the course according to plan. That leaves 50 – 85 acres to be replanted in the proper zones corresponding to the course design and lay out.

This proposal presents a summary of the challenges faced post fire, outlines mitigation strategies for fire, flood, and erosion, and recommends a re-vegetation plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

Region – Location

 

On the leeward coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, the north edge of the Kīholo lava plane, and at the base of 4 of the 5 mountains that comprise the island, there is a unique microclimate—hot, dry, and sunny, with deep, nutritionally rich soil deposits and abundant groundwater. The site elevation ranges from 220’-30’.

 

Geography

The land is located in a flood plane. Three gulches feed the Flood Plane bringing fine powdery glacial till down from Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

 

Soils

This soil is mineral rich, yet low in organic matter, and highly erodeable by wind. Tsunamis have brought coral sand into the flood plain, making a heavy mix of till and sand. The soil is very rich, but a high pH makes it difficult for most traditional agricultural crops to flourish.

 

Reef

Situated immediately off shore to Puakō are world reknown class AA water and coral reefs that provide critical environmental elements for survival of primary feeders and reef life that are the bases of the oceanic food chain. This fact alone has been acknowledged and has received consideration for protection by county and state agencies.

 

 

Wind and Hydrology

There is a consistent trade wind blowing in from the North East. Winds are diurnal, generally blowing onshore in the day and offshore at night. Kona winds blow from the south a few days each year. Rainfall averages less than 10” per year. Water runs down the surface and subsurface of the mountain slopes through this basin. Fresh water flows at a rate of between 3-7 mega gallons per coastal mile per day, below Puako. The water carries micronutrients that feed forests and reefs below.

 

Historical Land Use

 

Fishing Village

The fishing village fell in the Lalamilo and Kalāhuipua’a Ahupua’as, and subsisted largely on dry taro, sweet potatoes, and Limu seaweed.  The forested lands above the fishing village were harvested under increasing pressure for Sandalwood and pastureland. The Puako reef was known as one of the best spots for octopus, and a known source of potable water.

 

Sugar Cane

Large amounts of water were diverted to Puako for agriculture, specifically Sugar Cane, from whence the name “Puako” (Sugar Cane or “Flower of Ko”) derives. Access to that water vanished with the loss of the sandalwood forests.

 

Cattle

The Parker Ranch used to fatten cattle in Puako during the winter months when there was grass, and in the summer months during the pod season. Once fattened, usually within 2 months, the cows were shipped off to market. Puako was an important resource for cattle drives along the leeward coast of the big island due to the presence of high quality water and kiawe pods (Paris 2006).

 

Honey

The Kiawe fruits and honey are a new, healthy food, with growing demand. The bee keeping began in Puako to enhance fruit production; the honey was a wonderful byproduct. There is a world Bee crisis currently occurring as bees all over the world, and especially in the US, are spontaneously and mysteriously dying (Shumate 2007). Hawaii seems to be clean of this phenomenon, and many other diseases, for now. In the late 1930’s and early ‘40’s, Hawaii was the largest exporter of honey in the world. Most of the honey came from Kiawe, and most of that came from Puako, HI and leeward Molokai (Luce 2006). The Puako Kiawe forest is highly productive bee forage habitat with global implications. Puako is considered the Terroir of the White Honey produced by Volcano Island Honey Company (Spiegel 04). This honey has been rated the best in the world.

 

Alternative Crops

Watermelons, corn, pigs, alfalfa, grapefruits and mangos have been attempted with varying degrees of success. Sugar Cane, Kiawe, Cattle, and Honey are the most successful agricultural endeavors in Puako thus far.

 

Origins of Forest

Cows eating pods from the sugar cane wind break spread the viable seed all over the flood plane (Thevine 2006). Kiawe has been dropping seeds, which remain viable for at least 50 years, in Puako for nearly 100 years.

 

Proposed Land Use

 

The presence of deep, nutritionally rich soil and fresh water, paired with the hottest, driest and sunniest climate on the island, make it the premier agricultural site on the leeward coast of Hawaii.

 

Golf Course

An 18-hole golf course is proposed for the roughly 500-acre parcel. The design for this course would need ~ 150 acres of intact forest. If the proposed golf course design is implemented it is possible to form a mutually symbiotic relationship between the course and the forest. If the course is managed “organically,” using compost and integrated pest management strategies, then the pod harvesting and honey can also be produced under the same labeling. The project can be implemented as a carbon neutral project by using gasification technology coupled with electric equipment. The proposed golf course can be implemented in an ecologically sensitive and responsible manner that maintains or improves water quality. The golf course can diversify its economic profile and fulfill multiple functions by providing multiple products and services. The proposed golf course can be an ecologically and economically sustainable model (Logan 2007).

 

Native Forest

Before the arrival of humans this area was forested by Loulu palms, Willi Willi, Koaia, Sandalwoods and more. There are currently no native species on the land. It is possible to return this area to native forest.

 

 

Wildfire Threats and Mitigation

 

Arson

In drought, the trees often die back, leaving dry wood suspended amongst tall, dry buffel and fountain grasses. Without a fuels management strategy the land becomes a fire hazard. The forest has sustained several wildfires, mostly in the last 3 decades. Recently, arson started 9 fires along the Kohala coast burning large portions of Kiawe / buffel grass range land and coastal forest. Ground fires were set from grasses along the road, which climbed into the canopy and spread across the forest rapidly. Fires like these can be prevented via a combinate strategy of revegetation and fuels reduction.

 

Fire, Firebreaks, FMP

The site is in a key position to prevent future wildfires in the surrounding location by doing fire mitigation and establishing living firebreaks. If done correctly, the Fire Mitigation Program will help make the community a safer place, and protect the forest.

 

Flood

The property is located entirely in a flood plane. This imposes restrictions to the land use, and great responsibility with regard to potential consequences of activities on the land, and especially as relating to underground water and the reef. If the Fire Mitigation Program (FMP) is done correctly it can also mitigate flood and erosion.

 

Erosion

Most of the land is in a moderate erosion potential zone, and the southern portion is in a high erosion potential zone. This is potentially exacerbated by the lack of coverage of the soil via roots, which hold the soil, and canopy, which buffers the wind.

 

 

Re-vegetation Plan

 

Fencing

There will have to be fencing because goats, donkey, and occasionally pig, all roam in Puako. With newly created space in a protected microclimate, the native flora can re-establish with less stress than when placed out in full sun but not if left unprotected from grazing animals.

 

Grazing (Cows, horses, sheep)

Cattle played a vital role in the establishment of kiawe forests through out Hawaiiana and will play an equally vital role in managing the remaining forests sustainably. Cattle will help to reduce fine grass fuels making the forest a more accessible, and safer, working environment. Once young kiawe trees planted by cows establish, thinning may begin, yielding posts and chips (Esbenshade 1980). The site is in a critical location for fire. Once fenced, grazing animals can be controlled. Cows can be paddocked on the inside to spread the kiawe to other parts of the land, and native plants can be protected from goats and other wild browsers.

 

Reforestation

Fuels reduction in the forest will create posts for fencing the land, and chips for building soil, while mulching newly planted culturally appropriate and native trees. In time the land will return to forest.

 

Monitoring

Follow up monitoring, pest management, and some replanting will be necessary to ensure successful reforestation.

 

 

Goals

 

The overarching goal of this project is to conserve resources (water, soil, energy) on the land while maintaining water quality and supply; by returning the land to Forested Microclimate in perpetuity.

 

a. Mitigate the Wildfire Threat

b. Mitigate Flooding

c. Mitigate Erosion

 

 

Final Statement

 

This proposal aims to outline an effective strategy to deal with fire, flood and erosion issues resulting after the fires. The goals are to mitigate the aforementioned issues while returning the land to forested microclimate with an emphasis on native forest and culturally appropriate species assemblages.

 

 

 

 

Management Strategy:

 

Through successive years of active management, the project will restore the forest to function for the following purposes: 

 

1) as a fire resistant, forested microclimate to buffer the eroding effects of wind and water on the soil,

2) to perpetuate important Hawaiian cultural resources,

3) to provide fire and flood protection to the surrounding community,

4) to provide a forested ambience for the proposed golf course and

5) to provide microclimates for the re-establishment of rare Hawaiian plant and animal species.

 

At this time there is a window of opportunity to recreate a forested environment with a species assemblage more resembling pre-contact conditions. The species proposed would be more fire resistant, well adapted to local conditions and offer more of a unique ambience. The unique native flora ambience may be a great marketing niche. All flora indigenous to Hawaii and culturally appropriate Hawaiian plants are thorn free. The downside is the more native and endemic species assemblage may not be as valuable economically, in the short term, especially with regard to value added products. It will also need to be planted using largely human labor.

 

Returning the forest to a monotypic kiawe forest as it was before the fire has several distinct advantages over native reforestation:

1)   Kiawe can be replanted using foraging animals

2)   Kiawe produces the raw materials for valuable value added products in a relatively short time (2-3 years)

3)   kiawe forest can be managed by foraging animals after a few years of establishment.

It is important to remember that native plants can still be planted within the established microclimate of existing and newly reforested kiawe after a few years of establishment. This helps the natives to establish under more gentle conditions. If the plans to move forward are certain than it is advisable to reforest the forest zones corresponding to the golf map only and graze the future turf zones.

 

Due to the presence of feral animals, particularly goats, in the Puako forest region, it is absolutely essential to fence the property before attempting any reforestation efforts. Cows planted the monotypic kiawe forest that existed before the fire when the region was used as a feedlot for fattening cows before shipping them off to market. The intense stocking rates allowed for a dense thicket of kiawe to emerge and spread. The forest was thinned for posts as it matured. However, once cattle were removed, most of the management of the forest ceased with the exception of occasional firewood cutters and fence post harvesters. This neglect created a very fire prone forest.

 

Ultimately, the landholders will need to decide with which species to reforest and which methods to use for reforesting. With that said, it is generally recommended to utilize a successional strategy of initial microclimate establishment followed by thinning, value added product development and finally, once the appropriate spacing is achieved, establishment of rare native plants. Microclimate establishment can be achieved via kiawe or by use of hardy natives and Hawaiian canoe plants, like Loulu, Milo, Kou, Kamani, and Kukui. All have a proven track record in Puako.

 

 

PHASE I, Data Collection, Mapping, & Planning:  (Completed)

A)   Gather existing information pertaining to locations and distribution of existing kiawe forest and plant communities, site assessment, GPS key features

B)   Map water courses, fire sectors, water sectors, wind sectors, burn areas, intact forest, roads, detention basins, location of bee hive yards, special features, flood mitigation / erosion control measures map, Firebreak map, reforestation action map, integrated golf map, map vegetation types

C)  Development of funding proposal for phases 2 and 3

 

PHASE II, Conservation:

A) Fire Mitigation Program (FMP)

B) Implement Flood mitigation and erosion control measures  (Earthworks)

D)  Fence ~ 500 acres surrounding the entire property to exclude feral animals

E)   Implement Fountain Grass mitigation measures

F)   Identify Nursery staging area for Phase 3

G)  Order plant starts for Phase III (3-12 months needed)

H)  Establish a water system to support plantings (Irrigation Infrastructure Design and Implementation)

        

PHASE III, Restoration:

 

A) Establish a nursery facility within the project area for propagation 

B) Establish Living Firebreaks around the perimeter, within the fenced area.

C) Establish microclimate using animals to plant kiawe (*)

D) Restore native forest (microclimate) through seeding and planting of common natives and canoe plants (*)

E) Interplant rare and endangered species

F) Maintain fence perimeter, firebreaks and floodwater courses

G) Conduct monitoring and research and evaluate and revise management approach as appropriate

 

Project Manager will oversea and coordinate all phases of development and planning, directly or through contract services, while keeping clear communications with landholders.

 

*These two may be optional or interchangeable depending on the landholders’ decision. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description of Management Phase 2: Conservation to be completed 2008-2010

 

         Phase II (Conservation) will stabilize the land, set up infrastructure and lay the foundation for the implementation of Phase III (Restoration). The fire mitigation program will mitigate the risk of further loss of forest to wildfire. Posts for fencing are liberated during the FMP. Once the site is clear of fuels, direct access to the soil will be easier. At this time, earth works like the construction of rock walls, gabion baskets, diversion swales and check dams as flood and erosion control measures, can be implemented. The fence is erected, and fountain grass is contained by harvesting seed heads and exposing roots. Irrigation infrastructure, Nursery site selection and establishment, as well as plant orders will be addressed.

 

Fire Mitigation Program (FMP) (Refer to: Fire Zones)

 

 

 

 

Summary: Wildfire threat can come from any direction. However the east/ west boundary of Zone 1 is the area of greatest likelihood of fire because of its proximity to two major roads and exposure to winds that exacerbate fire. Zone 2 is also close to the highway, but has already burned. Zone 3 is the furthest away from roads, has infrequent destructive winds and has already burned so there is little fuel left. Zone 1 is priority.

 

 

1) Fire Zone 1 is the most critical fire zone to receive FMP. This zone is characterized by being close to the Queen Ka’ahumanu highway, and the Puako Beach Dr. community access. It has fine fuels, dead standing wood and ladder fuels around the edges of the last remnants of large, old, highly productive trees (dense mature forest) left on the site. This zone ends at the firebreak bulldozed during the most recent fire. The trade winds move rapidly across this zone on an almost daily basis. The warm ocean breeze moves across this zone during the hottest parts of the day. The on-shore and trade winds are most likely to breathe life into a fire and are therefore considered the most threatening factors regarding the spread of a wildfire on the site. This zone should be treated first because it will be the most strategic for preventing future wildfires on both the private and public portions of the forest.

Begin FMP in Fire Zone 1 in northeast corner. Work along the top towards the south along the (eastern boundary) South Kaniku Dr., the rock wall and down from the tip to the south and west. Work in a north south fashion so the tendency will be for water to meet erosion gullies made during FMP. Access requires 20-30’ wide access lanes. Access regions are no more than 100’ wide because the boom truck can only safely reach 50-60’, though other devices like heavy wenches can be used to pull from longer distances as long as there are few obstacles. Horse logging may be a practical means of log extraction from within the interior. Fuels reduction entails removal of all dead standing wood, dead wood on ground and dead wood attached to live trees thereby creating a bridge (ladder) for fire into the crown of the trees (Pasiecznik et al 2001). If permitted, it is advisable to further limb up the kiawe to a height of 10’ minimum. (Note: It may be preferable from a tree symmetry vs. wind perspective to limb the kiawe completely, leaving only the main leader at the top. In this way the tree is not left top heavy and therefore susceptible to wind throw. Pilot studies of native forest restoration under kiawe have shown that it is useful to leave the top branches only if it is intended to be planted immediately and therefore the microclimate is needed.) The old rock wall passes mostly through this zone. This wall should have all fuels cleaned around it and be used as a foundation for a living firebreak and flood control measure.

 

 

*The bare minimum preventative medicine for fire prevention is to make fuel-free zones around the outskirts of the forested zones. This would entail a 50-100’ swath that has had fuels reduction completed, and that is grazed or planted with succulents.

**All posts harvested that are fence size should be deposited inside one of the detention basins for safe storage until it is time to build the fence.

***Without a fence, no grazing or planting is possible because of goat populations.

****After the fences have been installed it will be possible to install Living Firebreaks.

*****Encourage FMP – fuels reduction between the Eastern boundary (Mauna Lani) and the highway.

 

2) Next move into Fire Zone 2 and again work towards the south. Zone 2 confronts the late evening / early morning off shore winds. These winds tend to be much slower and are less likely to drive a fire. This zone has mostly been burned so it will be a matter of dead wood removal, which may take less time than the previous zone. Many of the fence posts will come from here. All of the detention basins are in Zone 2. In and around the edge of the basins is where 99% of the fountain grass on the land is found. The base of these basins is at water level and has exposed water. Therefore, it is not advisable to use any herbicides to treat fountain grass. Hand removal of seed heads and mechanical removal of roots may be the only options in this sensitive hydrologic zone. An alternative is to create sunken garden nursery space in the basins where many of the plants for re-vegetating may be grown. Shade helps reduce fountain grass by more than 50%. By placing traditional nursery ground cloth and potted plants on the ground, the grasses would be mulched out. The nursery would have to be managed organically. Another option is to go ahead and plant the basins with palms and just leave it as a giant sunken garden. Norman Ahee has done this for the Mauna Lani. All of his coconut palm orchards are sunken below the grade which helps force the trees to grow tall quickly while protecting them from wind.

 

3) Fire Zone 3 is in the Southwestern portion of the land and has already burned. There is little fuel left to burn and it is backed up against the area that just burned on the public land. This zone confronts the Kona winds. Kona winds occur less frequently than the other winds (~3-5 days per year), but are often the most destructive. This zone is in a high erosion potential zone and therefore needs re-vegetation priority.

 

* Potential biomass harvested from Zone 1 is: ~ 80-160 tons/acre or ~ 120 * 82 = 9,840 tons. Of this: 17% (1,673 tons) is expected to be posts. Kiawe Fence Posts average ~ 50-100 lbs per post = ~36,802 posts. Posts are placed ~ 4-8 feet apart for fencing = 23,888’ / 4’ = 5,972 posts needed for entire perimeter @ 4’ spacing. (= ~$179,160 worth of posts at wholesale value ~$30 each)

 

**Considerations: What to do with all of the non-fencepost wood.

Chipping = chips (native plantings, gasification feedstock, mushrooms/compost/soil)
***(Get state permission to log public land if need more posts. Can possibly get lease to manage public portion to provide transplant trees for reforestation of private land.)

 

 

Implement Flood / Erosion mitigation (Earthworks) (Refer to: Wind & Hydrology)

 

 

 

The northern region of the land corresponding to future holes 12-17, is the most flood and fire prone area. The water coming down through Kamakoa Gulch, the primary gulch in the north, nearest the Pauko Beach Dr. X Queen’s highway intersection needs the most attention. The gulch should have a series of check dams, installed either in the form of gabion baskets spanning the width of the gulch at the 4 key waterfall sites and / or as a more regular series of boulders placed perpendicular to the flow of water, to help the water slow down. If the waterfalls are built with a natural look (large boulders and no wire mesh) they could be a beautiful attraction, as well as accessed via paths for viewing.

 

Special care needs to be taken to make sure the floodwater does not interfere with fairways as silt, sand and debris may otherwise collect on the fairway causing extra maintenance, and possibly, damage. Water needs to be captured and directed to the south. This can be accomplished via check dams, earth burms, diversion swales, and infiltration basins.

 

The overflow route should continue to be the route marked on the topographical map (the blue watercourse line coming down the gulch and moving across to the south). This route captures water from the north and western boundaries of the land and directs it along a channel that runs the western boundary of the land (the hive yard road). In the event of a major flood overflow from the other two gulches to the south, the water should be directed into the large detention basins that run along the southern half of the western boundary.

 

All water should be retained on property as best, and for as long as, possible. This will mitigate any liability in the event that floodwater passed through the property and eventually made its way to the residential community.

 

The area where there is the rock burm that was fixed by Less Chess needs the most help. Water permeates the rocks and during the infrequent flood events (500 year event indicated in red on the FEMA flood info) flows around the burm to the north and then heads down to the ocean. A hundred year flood event would likely breach that burm. The way to mitigate this potential is via the check dam / gabion basket series at the top of the watershed of the land (Northeastern corner).

 

The other two flood ways originate from the “No Name Gulch” and “Auwaiakeakua Gulch”. Floodwaters are directed towards the Southeast boundary, and sheet across the mostly flat plain heading west towards the ocean. In this case, the water needs to meander through the course, avoiding maintenance buildings, the clubhouse, and any other structures. All of the water resulting from these two gulches can easily be directed into any of the detention basins. Erosion around the basins is likely, especially the southern most basins (in the area with highest erosion potential – see: Erosion Potential).

 

 

 

 

Erosion:

 

 

 

Valuable soil nutrients arrive from mauka via the gulch. Glacial till from Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea come through this gulch, so does black cinder sand. Both are high in micronutrients and are already in the perfect particulate size to be applied to golf turf.

 

At least 2 options exist:

1)   Direct the flow of water into the fairways, which will be sunken (slightly depressed) as an infiltration basin. In this way the periodic floodwaters loaded with nutrients are directed onto the grass where it is needed. The downside is the flood (100-year-flood) could bring far too much at once. In this case, harvesting the nutrients off the turf and dispersing it more evenly to the other holes is necessary.

2)   Direct the flow into infiltration basins (forested patches surrounding the turf zones) where it will be captured and retained by the trees. This soil can be mined periodically to decrease build-up while simultaneously providing a valuable amendment for the fairways and greens.  In this scenario the fairways, greens, tees and cart paths will need to be elevated, completely level or slightly off level leaning into the slope of the hillside. The downside to this is that more water for the turf may be needed. Water will tend to run off the turf and cause erosion, unless each irrigated turf zone is completely level with a down slope burm running on contour. The burm would be subtle in size and shape, but effective at capturing all nutrient and water runoff, eliminating nutrient loss and erosion.

 



The potential exists to capture floodwater along South Kaniku Dr. where the main gulch intersects the road. During large flood events water can potentially back up and spill over to the southwest. A burm running parallel the road could bring valuable water across the entire length of the land. Also the rock wall can be used to help direct and spread water evenly across the land. Several dumps can be created, which can be opened or closed via a series of gateways during a flood event, to control the flow and dispersal of water across the land.  This would be useful during a 500 year flood event (“Floodway” in Red on flood map) when the water is most likely to breech the 100 yr floodplain zone. 

 

.  Using strategy #2 outlined above create furrows (diversion swales), which run through the forested areas on contour to the slope. These furrows can be direct seeded with appropriate vegetation. (See Phase III below.) All cart paths and turf zones are elevated. This will slow the water down and invite it to move across the land from north to south general direction. This will also function as zones of silt deposit and therefore will mitigate erosion, capturing all erosion in many spots and dispersing it evenly across the property. The water will slow and sink into infiltration basins full of the existing kiawe and newly succeeding native forest, basically all non turf / play zones.

 

The newest firebreak bulldozed during the last fire runs east to west and should be expected to be an erosion zone. Diversion Swales and

Check dams need to be developed along the firebreak. These would be oriented perpendicular to the slope (N-S) at intervals equivalent to the contours. It currently appears as though all water running down the firebreak would eventually make its way to the northern most detention basin. It may require a burm near the far west side to ensure all water makes it into the basin. Water entering the basin could cause erosion.

 

Ponds:

         The former quarries labeled as detention basins on the golf course design are excellent sites for capturing overflow floodwater. They are also excellent sites for nursery. A third potential exists: Aquaculture. Aquaculture ponds would be an excellent use of these zones. They collectively total about 9 acres, which is enough space to produce enough fish to meet the local needs within a 5-mile radius. The fish food, which tends to be the most expensive cost in aquaculture, is found on site. Having access to so much water would create a powerful microclimate, and open up many more possibilities for stratified land use. The water could also be used in times of fire for helicopter dip tanks.

                                                                         

Fence ~ 500 acres surrounding the entire property to exclude feral animals

 

Fortunately, the fire mitigation will yield many posts suitable to fencing the land. The metal fence and other parts will still need to be purchased. Labor to install the fence is the major portion of the cost. The Fence Line total perimeter is 23,888’ (4.429 miles).  $18/ft = $429,984 - ~$179,160 (value of posts ~$30) each = $250,824 ?

The fence will be built to exclude feral goats from the entire site and when complete will measure 4.8 to 5.6 ft. tall. The fence will be constructed of galvanized 52-in. hog-cattle combo “field fence” with two strands of triple-dip galvanized or bezinal coated barbed wire above, spaced 4-6 “apart.  Fence posts will be a combination of kiawe posts (7-9' long X 4"-8"+ diameter) and 7’ triple-dip galvanized or bezinal coated steel t-posts spaced 10-20 feet apart or less, as terrain dictates. Solar-powered electric wire offset outside the top of the fence may be added to fence as an additional deterrent if feasible.

 

Implement Fountain Grass mitigation measures

 

Fountain grass is generally discouraged because it forms a dense mat that crowds out young native tree seedlings and is highly flammable. To contain the spread, all seed heads should be collected and the plants unearthed and turned to expose the roots to the sun. In the current condition of the basins this strategy would work, however if it is kept wet and growing for long (~12 months) it will form a dense mat. If this occurs the organic method to treat it is to shade it out. This can be accomplished via trees, shade clothe and or nursery stock. A nursery is a highly lucrative business opportunity on this coast at this time.

 

Identify Nursery staging area for Phase 3

 

Reforestation efforts will require a nursery and staging area for planting. This area tends to be the focus of much energy and attention during Phase III. Meals tend to be prepared and eaten here. Tools are stored here. The nursery naturally becomes the base of operations during Phase III. Therefore, it is important that it be placed strategically in a microclimate hospitable to the nurturing of plants and people. 

 

Order plant starts for Phase III

 

Most native plant nurseries in the state contract grow plant starts. This requires 3 – 18 months depending on the rarity and needs of the plants ordered. The project may require substantial amounts of plant starts and seeds. Many of the seeds can be wild harvested and brought to the site for direct sowing or germination for pot culture. The nursery will require a manager who can oversee all phases of nursery development and implementation, including monitoring orders of plant starts, receiving and processing.

 

Irrigation Infrastructure Design and Implementation

 

At this time it is too early to know exactly what the supplemental irrigation needs of the project will be. That will depend largely upon the strategy chosen. Generally, it would be optimal to have maximum pressure at all points of the site. The infrastructure will consist of high flow PVC, meters, a pump system, and drip irrigation line and fittings. It may cost as much as $2,000 per acre. ($1,000,000)  If kiawe is planted via animals, much less irrigation infrastructure and human labor will be needed to have a monotypic kiawe forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Management Phase 3: Restoration to be completed 2010-2012

Please see: “Vegetation Map”

 

 

 

Kiawe dominates the unburnt areas with a buffel grass understory. The same is true for the partially burnt zone in Fire Zone 2. The fountain grass is confined to the detention basins. The rest of the land is covered with fast growing pioneer species, vines and herbs. Buffel grass is coming back in some spots. Please see current species list for a complete listing of the species found in the burnt zones.

Assumptions:

1)   IF the golf course is to be built immediately (i.e. next several years)

* THEN it should be considered to only reforest the areas needed to implement the golf course plan (=~50-85 acres)

2)   IF the golf course is not to be built immediately

* THEN it should be considered to reforest the entire land via ungulates or directing seeding method outlined below.

 

Once Fire and Flood mitigation are complete, the first step in revegetation is fencing and or living firebreak. Living Firebreaks and fences will make it possible to exclude or include animals as needed while protecting the newly regenerating land from further degradation by fire. With out these 2 it will be very difficult or impossible to plant anything on the land because feral animals will likely eat all of the plantings and furthermore if a fire rolls through in another 5 years after everything has been planted all efforts could be lost if there is not a break strategy in place.

 

Establish a nursery facility within the project area for propagation

 

The nursery / staging area / propagation zone is central to reforestation. The facility will require pots, soil amendments (compost, cinder, crushed coral, neem cake, etc.) Ground cloth will be laid out and all activities will occur on top of this layer. The nursery cloth helps keep weeds out (ie fountain grass) and helps catch spills of amendments. Ideally this zone is buffered from extreme winds and sun. A nursery in the bottom of the detention basins would provide yet another economic opportunity on the land while it waits. Chips created during FMP can be stored here and a compost piles begun here. Palms can be grown out here in the protection of the deep basin and then transplanted elsewhere on the land at the appropriate time. If grown in excess, it may be quite lucrative. Palms planted in the bottom of the basins may need little to know supplemental water because of the presence of surface water. For additional info see description in phase 2 above.

 

Establish Living Firebreaks around the perimeter, within the fenced area.

 

Once the fence is implemented it will be possible to plant a succulent border that squelches ground fires and helps diffuse floodwaters. If planted correctly, the living firebreak can form a living fence in time, which outlives the conventional fence. The space created between the fence and the LFB can be used as an animal run for sheep to graze a narrow strip that is fuels free. Living Firebreaks are still quite experimental. However, the pilot study currently underway at Wailea Bay is showing encouraging results.

 

 

Establish microclimate using animals to plant kiawe (*)

 

Cows and horses are the most efficient and least expensive way to plant kiawe. At one time there was greater than 150K acres of kiawe in the state of Hawaii. All of those acres were planted by cows. The human labor to plant so much land at that time (circa 1840) would have cost over one million dollars. Not only did no humans plant the forests, saving money and time, but the ranchers actually made money on the planting of the forests because they fattened the cows on kiawe, the cows spread the trees and they sold the cows to market. This strategy could work well for reforesting Puako post fire. Cows can graze the remaining forest and spread it out into the non-forested areas. The remaining portion of the forest should be seeded with buffel grass ONLY if it is intended to be grazed. Regularly moving the cows into different paddocks and by luring them to unforested parts of the land periodically will help ensure homogenous spread of forest across the land. The cows are already needed to help graze down the fine fuel grasses that have grown tall after all the rain. Horses, mules and donkeys will also work for spreading the kiawe. Sheep and pigs will slow the spread of kiawe because the seeds are mostly broken down in their guts. According to County Agricultural Extension Agent Mark Thorn (2008), The stocking capacity of the land is safely in the range of 61 animal units per year at a rough 572,000 lbs of dry matter per year. This could produce approximately $19,000 which may be enough to cover a part time salary to manage the grazing operation. The manager would need to live nearby so access to the animals is efficient. If irrigated the carrying capacity of the land is greater. A full time position would be required to keep up with this level of production.

 

Once the animals have done their job of spreading the forest they are to be excluded from the land. Animals (especially sheep) can be used to graze perimeters, firebreaks, etc. at the end of the rainy season to reduce fine fuels and then removed.

 

Kiawe trees in Puako have been observed to grow at least 7’ in 16 months. This type of growth is usually achieved via dense competition for light and nutrients resulting in a kiawe thicket that is very fire prone. Once this kind of canopy is achieved it is necessary to thin. Once thinned it is possible to interplant with natives within the protected microclimate. In the recent dry land forest symposium one study was presented which looked at the long-term success of a native forestation project in North Kona. The data showed that natives suffered the most losses in the first few weeks after planting. This is most likely due to transplant shock due to human error and lack of microclimate. It was recommended that established microclimates be taken advantage of whenever possible. Kiawe produces an excellent microclimate for regenerating native plants. In time, the kiawe would be thinned to a lesser density before finally being phased completely out of the system (Felker and Patch 2005).

 

IF kiawe is not desired for the unforested portion of the land:

         THEN the use of Hawaiian canoe plants and other native and culturally appropriate plants should be planted. This is accomplished via a combination of plant starts, seeds, cuttings outplanted with whatever microclimate exists. Excellent success has been achieved on Kauai by tilling rows and planting starts amongst food crops. This species sequenced agricultural strategy appears to work well because the food crops create a temporary microclimate that phases out of the system within the first few years leaving behind native forest.

 

Restore native forest (microclimate) through seeding and planting of common natives and canoe plants (*)

 

The fire has basically created a blank canvas of the land. Cleared of most competitors it is an opportune time to reforest with locally adapted and culturally appropriate trees. The simplest process for this is to rip furrows that run north to south, perpendicular to the slope of the land (preferably on contour). The furrows are ripped to a minimum depth of 18” and spaced 7-14’ apart. The furrows then become the areas for direct seeding and planting of seedling tree and shrub starts. Many common native trees and traditional food crops like Kou, Milo, Hala, Coconuts, Taro, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Papayas, Sugar Cane Kamani, and Loulu palms will work well if planted in this way. Everything is planted, and amended directly, covered over with soil, mulched with wood chips and then irrigation is kept on the furrows. This method works really well and has been used successfully in Wailea Bay. The orientation of the plantings creates both wind breaks and floodwater barriers that help buffer the harsh winds while capturing and directing the flow of water across the land. This method of microclimate establishment is the most versatile and multifunctional addressing flood, erosion, fire and re-vegetation all in one effort. The most difficult part is collecting all of the seed and cutting material. The results are a microclimate of trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that will allow for the eventually splicing in of endangered endemic trees that will live hundreds of years.

 

 

Interplant rare and endangered species

 

Once a microclimate with the desired spacing is achieved it is possible to reforest endangered endemic plants with a much higher rate of success. This should be considered the highest achievement of this project. The rare trees would be very long term trees, some of which live one thousand years or more. They are known to have once dominated the site and so therefore have a proven history of long-term success once established. They require little maintenance or water in comparison to exotic species, especially once they have tapped the underground water source.

 

Maintain fence perimeter, firebreaks and floodwater courses

 

To ensure the protection of the site and all of the work that has been done to secure and plant it, it will be critical to monitor the fence perimeter for breaks or gaps, maintain the firebreaks and floodwater courses so they continue to function as designed.

 

Conduct monitoring and research and evaluate and revise management approach as appropriate

 

Careful observation over time reveals gaps in the management approach as well as successes that can be expanded. It is important to monitor the feedback loop being broadcast by the land and picked up by the careful observer. Through close monitoring efforts, mistakes can be captured and dealt with quickly and effectively before it becomes a problem. This is especially true during the first few years of establishment and less so over time as the whole system matures and stabilizes.

 

 

Species List present and future (Please see: “Vegetation Map”)

 

Species List: Current

 

Kiawe (Prosopis pallida)

Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris)

Haole koa (Leucaena leucocephala)

Indian fleabane (Pluchea indica)

Sourbush (Pluchea carolinensis)

Uhaloa (Waltheria indica and W. Americana (Hialoa))

Ilima (Sida fallax)

Hairy Morning-Glory (Ipomoea pentaphylla)

Crown Flower Calotropis gigantea

Tree Tobacco Nicotiana glauca

Fountain Grass Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum),

Wild Spider Flower (Gynandropis pentaphylla)

 

Feral Goats (Capra hircus)

 

 

Species List: Future

 

Table 1.  Common and rare plant species native to the lowland dry forest of North Kona and South Kohala districts that may be suitable for planting and seeding:

 

Scientific Name

Common Name

Listed Status

Recovery Status*

Abutilon menzesii ‡

ko’oloa’ula

E

less than 50

Bidens sp. ‡

ko‘oko‘olau

SOC

in decline

Caesalpinia kavaiense

uhiuhi

E

less than 50

Capparis sandwicensis

maiapilo

SOC

in decline

Chenopodium oahuense †‡

aweoweo

-

stable

Diospyros sandwicense

‘elama

-

in decline

Dodonaea viscose †‡

a’ali’i

-

stable

Erythrina sandwicensis †

wiliwili

SOC

In decline

Hibiscus brackenridgei

mao hou hele

E

less than 50

Kokia drynarioides

kokio

E

less than 50

Metrosideros polymorpha ‡

‘ohia

 

stable

Nothocestrum breviflorum

Aiea

E

Less than 100

Nototrichium sandwicense

kului

SOC

in decline

Osteomeles anthylidifolia †

ulei

-

in decline

Pleomele hawaiiense

halapepe

E

100-500

Pydrax oderatum ‡

alahe‘e

-

in decline

Reynoldsia sandwicensis ‡

‘ohe makai

SOC

in decline

Santalum sp.

‘iliahi

SOC

In decline

Sida fallax †‡

ilima

-

stable

Sophora chrysopylla ‡

mamane

-

in decline

Vigna o-wahuensis

No common name

E

less than 50

     *  in the wild

     †  Test planting species

         ‡  Test seeding species

 

Species List for Living Firebreaks

 

Non-native succulent:

Cereus spp.

         Pachecereus spp.

         Trichocereus spp.

         Azurocereus spp.

         Armatocereus spp.

Agave spp.

Aloe spp.

Yucca spp.

Ground covers… (Ice Plants et al.)

Bananas (Musa spp.)
Coconuts (Cocos nucifera)

Date Palms (Pheonix spp.)

Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus spp.)
Panini (Opuntia spp.and Nopalea spp.)

         Papaya (Carica papaya)
        
Pineapple (Ananas cosmosus)

        

Native and Canoe Plants:

 

Trees

Loulu (Pritchardia ssp.)

Kukui (Aleurites molucana)

Noni (Morinda citrifolia)

Kamani (Calophyllum inophyllum)

Koai‘a (Acacia koaia)

Kou (Cordia subcordata) *

Lama (Diospyros sandwicensis)

A'ali'i (Dodonaea viscose)

Wili Wili (Erythrina sandwicensis)

O'hia (Metrosideros polymorpha)

Naio (Myoporum sandwicense)

Ohe makai (Reynoldsia sandwicensis) *

Mamane (Sophora chrysophylla)

Milo (Thespesia populnea)

Hala Pepe *

Puakinkini

Plumeria

Non-native Tree = Monkey Pod for shade overstory.

 

Shrubs

A’ali’I (Dodonaea viscos)

Ko’ oloa (Abutilon menziesii) *

Koki’o ‘ula (Hibiscus kokio)

Ti (Cordyline fruticosa) *

Aweoweo (Chenopodium oahuense)

Pilo (Coprosma rhynchocarpa)

Kokio (Hibiscus sp.)

Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum)

Pohinahina (Vitex rotundifolia)

Alahe’e (Psydrax odoratus) *

Prostrate Naio and Ilima

 

Vines

Mia Pilo

Ipu Gourds

Pakalana

Canavalea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost / Benefit Summary

 

The project will benefit the watershed, the reef, the local community, Hawaiian cultural resources and the landholders. A summary of the project statistics for the first 4 years is found below.

 

Project Statistics

 

Total Project Cost

~$11,923,209

FMP

~$3,590,000

Earthworks

~$153,800

Fence

~$429,984

LFB

~$293,525

Irrigation

~$1,000,000

Plant Kiawe*

~$101,000

Plant common natives*

~$1,808,000

Plant rare natives*

~$1,712,000

Native Plant Starts

~$2,338,000

Total Acres Vegetated

~500

Types Rare Species Planted

~23

Fire risk mitigated

Yes

Flood risk mitigated

Yes

Erosion risk mitigated

Yes

Increase Biodiversity

Yes

Maintain Water Quality

Yes

Increased Economic Diversity

Yes

 

 

 

Recommendation Summary:

 

Replanting kiawe over the entire land is the least expensive route to total coverage in the least amount of time. It may also provide diversified income streams from value added products. However, this quick fix is not the best long-term solution. Kiawe will always be more fire prone and a kiawe forest planted in this way will be monotypic, and therefore of low biodiversity. Now, “while the window is still open” is the most opportune moment for planting diverse native plants as a viable long-term solution.

 

 

 

Budget

 

PHASE I, Data Collection, Mapping, & Planning:  2008

 

Gather existing information pertaining to locations and distribution of existing kiawe forest and plant communities, site assessment, GPS key features

 

GPS Device 1 = $396

Fuel = $211.46

 

Map water courses, fire sectors, water sectors, wind sectors, burn areas, intact forest, roads, detention basins, location of bee hive yards, special features, flood mitigation / erosion control measures map, Firebreak map, reforestation action map, integrated golf map, map vegetation types

 

Maps (Printed) 4 * $20 each = $80

Maps (Scanned) 1 * $10.42 = $10.42

Copies and Prints  2 * 10.95 = $ 21.90

 

Development of funding proposal for phases 2 and 3

 

Consulting Fee: $10,400

 

Phase I Total = $11,119.78

 

PHASE II, Conservation: 2008-2010

 

Fire Mitigation Program (FMP)

74 acres @ $15,000 /acre = $1,110,000

76 acres @ $7,000 /acre = $532,000

219 acres @ $8,000 /acre = $1,752,000

49 acres @ $4,000 /acre = $196,000

 

Total acreage = ~428 acres

subTotal Price = ~$3,590,000

 

Implement Flood mitigation and erosion control measures  (Earthworks)

 

Rock work (Excavator with grapple) = 2 weeks time @ $150 /hr = $16,800 + Trans

Materials = boulders and smaller size rock for gabion baskets = $65,000 + Trans

Diversion Swales (furrows) = Bull dozer with hook - 2 months @ $150 /hr = $72,000 + Trans

 

subTotal = ~$153,800

 

Fence ~ 500 acres surrounding the entire property to exclude feral animals

Perimeter = 23,888’ (4.429 miles) (@ $18/ft = $429,984

- ~$179,160 (value of posts at wholesale value ~$30 each) = $250,824)

 

subTotal = $429,984 - $250,824

 

Implement Fountain Grass mitigation measures - Treats ~9 acres

 

Materials = $2,500

Labor = $16,680

subTotal = $19,180

 

Identify Nursery staging area for Phase 3

 

Research permits needed = $600

 

Order plant starts for Phase III (3-12 months needed)

$6 - $10,000 /acre for plant starts from contract nurseries.

94 acres * $10,000 = $940,000 (Forested area on golf map)

233 acres * $6,000 = $1,398,000 (All remaining non-vegetated areas)

 

subTotal = $2,338,000

 

Establish a water system to support plantings (Irrigation Infrastructure Design and Implementation)

 

$1,000 - $2,000 /acre = $500,000 – $1,000,000 (Installed)

 

Project Manager: $100,000 / year (*2) = $2000,000

 

Total Phase II = ~$7,641,564

        

 

PHASE III, Restoration: 2008 - 2012

 

Establish a nursery facility within the project area for propagation 

 

Materials = $18,000

Labor = $18,000

Manager = $30,000 /year (*4) = $120,000

subTotal = $156,000

 

Establish Living Firebreaks around the perimeter, within the fenced area.

 

LFB #1 = 11,218’ X 50’ = 560,900 ft2 * $0.25 = $140,225

LFB #2 = 6,158’ X 50’ = 307,900 ft2 * $0.25 = $76,975

LFB #3 = 6,106’ X 50’ = 305,300 ft2 * $0.25 = $76,325

subTotal = $293,525

 

 

Establish microclimate using animals to plant kiawe (*)

 

61 animal units @ $1,000 each = $61,000

Range Manager = $20,000 /year (*2)

 

Subtotal = $101,000

 

Restore native forest (microclimate) through seeding and planting of common natives and canoe plants (*)

 

Labor = $3,000 /acre * 428 acres = $1,284,000

Maintenance = $500 /acre (2 years) = $428,000

Plant collection crew = 4 people * 2 years * $12,000 each = $96,000

Chips and other amendments = ?

Subtotal = $1,808,000

 

Interplant rare and endangered species

 

Labor = $3,000 /acre * 428 acres = $1,284,000

Maintenance = $500 /acre (2 years) = $428,000

Chips and other amendments = ?

Subtotal = $1,712,000

 

Maintain fence perimeter, firebreaks and floodwater courses

 

As needed.

 

Conduct monitoring and research and evaluate and revise management approach as appropriate

 

*Project Manager Duty

 

Project Manager: $100,000 / year (*2) = $2000,000

 

 

Phase III Total = ~$4,270,525

 

Total of Phases I, II & III = ~$11,923,209

 

* Some of the figures in this budget have been generously estimated and are expected to be at the high end of the range in order to create a conservative estimate of actual costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Bakewell-Stone P. 2006. Marketing of Prosopis products in the UK:

feasibility report. HDRA, Coventy, UK. 39pp

 

Esbenshade, H. W. (1980) Kiawe: a tree crop in Hawaii. International Tree Crops Journal 1:125-130.

 

Felker, Peter and Patch, Nancy Managing Coppice, Sapling, and Mature Prosopis For Firewood, Poles, and Lumber and Center for Semi-Arid Forest Resources Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute Kingsville, Texas 78363, PDF file Accessed on the web 2005.

 

Logan, Neil (2007) Swaying in the Breeze:  A Comprehensive Guide to the Management of Kiawe (Prosopis pallida) in Hawaii. pp. 150 unpublished.

 

Luce, Allen (2006) Personal Communication.

 

Nabhan, G. P. (1987) Gathering the Desert, University of Arizona Press pgs 61-74

 

Paris, William (2006) Personal Communication.

 

Pasiecznik, N.M., Felker, P., Harris, P.J.C., Harsh, L.N., Cruz, G., Tewari, J.C., Cadoret, K. and Maldonado, L.J. (2001) The Prosopis juliflora - Prosopis pallida Complex: A Monograph. HDRA, Coventry, UK. pp.172.

 

Pope, Willis T., Manual of Wayside Plants of Hawaii, Charles E. Tuttle Co. Inc., 1968.

 

Shumate, Jerry (2006) Personal Communication.

 

Spiegel, Richard. 2004. Puakō Kiawe Forest Apiary pgs 2-30.

 

Thevine, Leon (2006) Personal Communication.

 

Thorn, Mark (2008) Personal Communication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Activity Key:

 

1 – Data Collection

2 - Mapping

3 - Planning

4 - FMP

5 - Earthworks

6 - Fence

7 – Fountain Grass

8 – Identify Nursery

9 – Order Plants

10 - Irrigation

11 – Establish Nursery

12 - LFB

13 – Establish Microclimate (Kiawe)

14 - Establish Microclimate (Native Plants)

15 – Interplant Rare Species

16 – Maintain fence, fire, flood

17 – Monitor, Evaluate and revise