02/23/17 – Public Comment Sought on Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve Management Plan Update and Environmental Assessment (EA)

Posted on Feb 24, 2017 in Forestry & Wildlife, Natural Area Reserves, News Releases, slider

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
News Release

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR
SUZANNE D. CASE
CHAIRPERSON

For Immediate News Release February 23, 2017

PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON LĪHU‘E-KŌLOA FOREST RESERVE
MANAGEMENT PLAN UPDATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (EA) 

LIHU‘E, KAUA‘I — The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Kaua‘i branch, of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is considering a revision to the Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve Management Plan to update management priorities, tactical goals and action items, and estimated costs, and as part of the update, to provide for sustainable commercial management of existing non-native timber stands found within the forest reserve.

The DOFAW Kaua‘i office is seeking input from interested agencies, organizations and individuals by March 30, 2017, so that any concerns or suggestions may be addressed in the management plan update and corresponding environmental assessment that will be prepared in compliance with Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 343.

The Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve consists of over 12,500 acres. The current management plan (from 2010) may be viewed at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/frs/reserves/kauai/lihue-koloa/. Table 6 from the current plan (shown below) identifies management priority categories (in priority order) and lists general management actions to address the objectives, along with tactical goals, action items, and estimated costs:

Management priority

General Management Action

Tactical Goals

Action Items

Estimated Cost

Watershed values

Reduce the threat and impact of erosion on reserve resources

Reduce ungulate damage in ecologically sensitive areas

Strategic ungulate fencing at back of Blue Hole (~ 300 ft.)

Special fly-in public hunts at back of Blue Hole

$40,000

 

$25,000 plus staff and mgmt. costs

Additional public activity

Provide high quality recreational opportunities

Maintain trails and roads

 

 

 

 

 

Maintain signs and structures

Purchase road fill material, grade roads, and maintain bridges

Brush removal, mowing, gravel and grade trails

Toilet and shelter repair/maintenance

Sign replacement

$30,000/yr.

 

 

$10,000/yr.

Mgmt. and staff costs only

$1000/yr.

Native Ecosystems

Protect high priority (V-1 and V-2) areas as defined by DOFAWʻs draft Management Guidelines

Reduce ungulate damage in ecologically sensitive areas

Review and update Management Guidelines

See items from “Watershed Values” above

Re-evaluate vegetation classes, especially in Kalāheo section

As above

 

Mgmt. and staff costs only

 

Invasive Species Control

Reduce/prevent invasive species from entering V-1 and V-2 areas

Aerial spraying of target species

 

Chemical and biological ground control of target species

Australian tree fern (Guava and African tulip if technology is developed)

Clidemia, Schizachryium, Australian tree fern, Guava, Albizzia

$82,500

 

 

$30,000/yr. plus staff and mgmt. costs

 

Game Animal Management

Continue to provide public hunting opportunities

Improve/increase hunting access in Kalāheo section

 

 

 

Create a public shooting range at Hanahanapuni

 

Clear right of way at Lāwai Valley

Work with private landowners to obtain access to Alexander Dam area of Kalāheo section

Obtain boundary survey in order to add designated land to the Forest Reserve

$20,000

 

Mgmt. and staff costs only

 

$15,000

Commercial activity

 

Promote ecotourism and manage forest/timber resources

Review and provide opportunities for approved ecotourism operations and timber use

 

Monitor ecotourism activities to ensure compliance with current agreements

Mgmt. and staff costs only

Resource Protection

Reduce the threat of fire, insects, and disease

Respond to threats as needed

Reduce fuel loads along access corridors

Monitor for insects and disease

Mgmt. and staff costs only

Mgmt. and staff costs only

T&E Species Management

Protect occurrences of listed and rare plants and animals

Protect and monitor wild populations of rare plants

 

 

 

Protect and monitor bird populations

Fence individual plants/populations as needed or where accessible; Maintain existing fences; Collect, propagate, and outplant into protected areas

Support Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project annual surveys of known colony sites

$10,000/yr.+

 

 

 

 

$136,000/yr.

The Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve contains approximately 560 non-contiguous acres of non-native timber plantation stands, planted mostly in the 1930s and 1960s with the intention of future harvest. As part of the management plan update, DOFAW is considering identifying an area surrounding the existing non-native timber stands as a timber management area to allow for the sustainable harvest of those non-native timber stands through the issuance of a timber land license. NO native forests or trees would be converted to non-native forests and NO harvested trees will be transported out of the forest via the Keahua Stream Bridge.

DOFAW has contracted with Anden Consulting to assist with the management plan update and to prepare a corresponding draft environmental assessment, which will address topics including impacts on water quality; native species; potential spread of invasive species; cultural resources; public access and use; and socioeconomic impacts. DOFAW invites comments on these topics as well as suggestions of other areas of concern.

Please send comments on the project by March 30, 2017 to the mailing address above, attention Phillip LaHaela Walter Philipp.LaHaelaWalter@hawaii.gov or 808-587-4169, or via email to mitchell@anden.consulting. Any questions about the management plan update, may be addressed to, and Patrick Porter, Kauai Forest Management Supervisor at Patrick.t.porter@hawaii.gov or 808-274-3439 or Sheri S. Mann, Kaua‘i Branch Manager at sheri.s.mann@hawaii.gov or 808-274-3436.

# # #

Media contact
Deborah Ward
DLNR Communications specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320