volunteer

MKFRP Volunteer Packet

 

 

Thank you for volunteering with the Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project! Below is valuable information for your upcoming volunteer outing.  Please read thoroughly!  

 


Packing Checklist

Be sure to pack everything on these lists. If staying over night, note the different lists fore each site.

 

At minimum, bring:

If staying overnight, also include:

Daily checklist

  • Sturdy boots (ankle supporting)
  • Long pants
  • T-shirts or long sleeved shirts for field work
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Work gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Lunch
  • Positive attitude

Large Groups

  • Package of Toilet Paper
  • Package of Paper Towels
  • Dish soap
  • Dish sponge

Campover at Ka‘ohe

  • Tent or sleeping cot
  • Warm Sleeping Bag (rated 20° or below)
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Camping chair
  • Warm Sweater, layers
  • Extra clothes
  • Warm sleep clothes, beanie
  • Personal toiletries
  • Slippers, rubber boots
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Prescription medication
  • Allergy medication, contact solution, glasses.
  • Food for the trip (and cooler with ice)
  • Personal mess kit (plate, bowl, mug, utensils)

Campover at Pu‘u Mali

  • Warm Sleeping Bag (rated 20° or below)
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Warm Sweater, layers
  • Extra clothes
  • Personal toiletries
  • Towel
  • Warm sleep clothes, beanie
  • Slippers, rubber boots
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Prescription medication
  • Allergy medication, contact solution, glasses.
  • Food for the trip (and cooler with ice)

Safety Checklist

  • Fill out and sign your volunteer service forms. Failure to do so will disqualify a person from access to MKFRP restoration areas and the State may not be responsible for the cost of emergency air evacuations, or workman’s compensation.
  • Bring all required medication(s) with you. If you have any medical conditions, please inform MKFRP staff before the work trip (strictly confidential).
  • Volunteers with asthma or allergies—especially to bee stings—must bring their medication(s) and a MKRFP staff member must be advised prior to the trip. We are three hours away from any medical assistance.
  • At night the climate is freezing cold. Be prepared with heavy winter clothing. Expect frost in the mornings.
  • Climate is hot and dry during the day; expect dust, grass seeds, wind and limited shade. Latrine facilities in the field are limited. Be able to work in the hot sun all day. The work is hard but the company is good. Weather can change quickly to cold wet weather. Be prepared.
  • Drink water all day. The high elevation and constant sun can dehydrate a person quickly.
  • Know your limits, and advise your supervisor. Disclose any physical limitations to the project supervisor (information kept confidential).
  • Be aware of conditions around you. If others are using heavy machinery or sharp equipment keep a safe distance between you and them.
  • All volunteers MUST have hiking boots that come above the ankle. The terrain at the site is rocky and rugged, so good ankle support is essential.

What to Expect

  • Fieldwork may become hazardous in rainy or foggy conditions; for reasons of safety, a project postponement may be called with little advance notice.
  • The camp site and work area are at a high elevation between 5,200-ft.–7,800-ft. Expect shortness of breath and fatigue.
  • Volunteers come from different backgrounds, yet everyone is there to help in the restoration of Mauna Kea. Come to work. Teamwork is essential for a successful work trip.
  • Transport to and from the reserve and/or work may be delayed due to logistics coordination, safety or weather conditions. Come with patience and a sense of humor.
  • 4-wheel drive vehicles are required.  Carpooling with MKFRP vehicles may be available.

 

Camping at Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area:

  • Bring a warm sleeping bag (rated 20° or below) and a head lamp. Because of the high-elevation, temperatures normally dip into the 30’s. And it can be very dark at night.
  • Our campsite at Pu‘u Mali consists of one main cabin (kitchen, community area) and 14 one-to-two-person mini A-frame cabins for sleeping. Tents are not necessary.
  • Our water source is from a catchment system and it rains very little. Showers are available but we ask that you keep it as short as possible. Drinking water will be provided in large jugs.
  • Our main cabin has a fully equipped kitchen including stove and oven, pots and pans, and cooking and eating utensils. Bring a cooler with ice for your perishable foods.
  • At camp, we have one composting toilet. It is designed to handle all human waste and toilet paper, but nothing else. There are no bathroom facilities in the field.
aframe

Individual “A-frame” sleeping cabins at the Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area campsite.

Camping at Ka‘ohe Restoration Area

  • Tents or sleeping cot are mandatory.  Be sure tents are waterproof to avoid evening mists saturating your sleeping area. MKFRP will provide one large tarp-tent that will act as base camp (kitchen,eating, and sleeping area), you may set up your cot under this tent.
  • Bring a warm sleeping bag (rated 20° or below) and a head lamp. Because of the high-elevation, temperatures normally dip into the 20’s. And it can be very dark at night.
  • All water is trucked to the campsite. No showers are available.  Drinking water will be provided in large jugs.
  • Our main tarp-tent will be equipped with propane camp stoves. The kitchen is equipped with a few pots and pans, and cooking and eating utensils. Bring a cooler with ice for your perishable food.
  • At the campsite, a latrine will be set up and is designed to handle all solid human waste and toilet paper only.  There are no bathroom facilities in the field.  
snow on mamane

Freezing night-time temperatures are common at our restoration areas.

 


Volunteer Forms

Please download, fill-out, and sign the volunteer forms and bring them with you to the volunteer outing. Each participant must fill out the forms. Minors must also have parental signature. (ATTENTION: forms were updated on 4/14/2016, please bring correct forms)

MKFRP Volunteer Forms

 


Project Background

Mauna Kea Restoration MapMKFRP was initiated as a result of the Saddle Road realignment project. The road was rerouted through lands designated as critical habitat for the federally endangered Palila. (Loxioides bailleui). In 2002, two areas on Mauna Kea were designated for restoration of māmane (Sophora chrysophylla) forest to mitigate the habitat loss.

These areas are Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area (PMRA; 5,140 acres) on the north slope and Ka‘ohe Restoration Area (KRA; 1,400 acres) on the west slope. Both are State owned lands that were formerly leased for cattle ranching and are adjacent to existing māmane forest in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve. Our goal is to extend the forest down to the lower elevations, increasing the year-round food availability for Palila. Fenced exclosures of each site were completed in 2006.

Since then MKFRP has been working to restore forest by removing feral ungulates, collecting seeds, propagating native seedlings, outplanting seedlings, controlling invasive plants, and removing predators from Palila Critical Habitat. The Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit (PCSU) cooperatively manage this project.

 


Cultural Significance

shelterRising more than 2.5 miles above sea level, Mauna Kea defines the landscape of the island of Hawai‘i, and is the state’s highest mountain. For Hawaiians it is a wahi pana, a sacred place. Mauna Kea is considered by some to be the kino lau of Wākea—the physical form of Wākea, the forefather of the Hawaiian people.

In ancient times, Hawaiians rarely traveled to high elevation sites as these natural areas were respected as wao ākua, or the realm of the gods. And so, the high-elevation, dry land forest of Mauna Kea were especially revered. The few specialists that did travel through this unusual forest, thick with māmane and naio thickets and humming with Palila songs, were trekking to the summit area where rich dense basalt rock would be fashioned into adzes.

While limited, they did use the resources of the forest. On their journey, larger birds such as ‘ua‘u (Pterodroma sandwichensis) and nēnē (Branta sandwicensis) provided much needed food along with ‘ākala (Rubus hawaiensis) and ‘ōhelo (Vaccinium spp.) berries. Some of the forest birds’ feathers were collected and brought to the chiefs to be made into royal cloaks. And the hard wood of the māmane was particularly sought after to be crafted into adze handles.

And because of its sanctity, many shrines, burials, and kapu surround the mountain top. Let us respect this important mountain and tread reverently in our work there.

 


Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area

puumali

Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area sits on the northern slope of Mauna Kea where volunteers help to restore previously ranched land back to native forest.

Location: Northern slope of Mauna Kea. The area is adjacent to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve.

Driving time: 2 1/2 hours from Hilo; 1 hour from Waimea.

Size: 5,140 acres

Elevation range: 5,200 ft. – 7,800 ft.

Fence: 6-ft. woven-wire ungulate exclosure fence completed in 2006.

History: Prior to cattle ranching, this site supported koa (Acacia koa) in the lower sections, with māmane (Sophora chrysophylla), naio (Myoporum sandwicense), and ‘akoko (Chamaesyce olowaluana) in the upper areas. Native Hawaiians rarely visited these high elevation forests or the wao ākua (realm of the gods), although they may have passed though the forest on their way to adze quarries at higher elevations. With the arrival of Europeans, this area was degraded by centuries of cattle grazing. Livestock were completely removed in 2010..

looking out

The large ‘a‘ā flow that runs through the Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area protects a diverse dry forest within 2,000 feet of elevation.

Current forest: A 4,000–14,000 year old ‘a‘ā lava flow covers the eastern portion of Pu‘u Mali Restoration Area while the western part was entirely converted to pastureland. Māmane and koa snags still stand in the pasture areas providing a reminder of the forest that we are restoring. Some native plants remain in the pasture in the gulches and rocky outcroppings which were inaccessible to ungulates. The ‘a‘ā flow protected native vegetation from cattle and supports a māmane-dominated forest with a substantial population of ‘akoko. The ‘a‘ā flow also supports rich native plant diversity including na‘ena‘e (Dubautia arborea), ko‘oko‘olau (Bidens menziesii), small-leafed mā‘ohi‘ohi (Stenogyne microphylla), ‘āweoweo (Chenopodium oahuense), ‘ānunu (Sicyos macrophyllus), and Hawaiian stinging nettle (Hesperocnide sandwicensis)

Current management efforts: A field camp serves as a base for staff, researchers, and volunteers. Current activities include: (1) site preparation prior to outplanting, (2) collecting native seeds, (3) outplanting seedlings, (4) scattering native seeds, (5) controlling cape ivy (Delairea odorata) and fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum), (6) monitoring Palila, and (7) monitoring/maintaining the perimeter fence at Pu‘u Mali Restoration Areas and the new Palila Critical Habitat fence.

 


 

Ka‘ohe Restoration Area

kaohe

Ka‘ohe Restoration Area lies on the western slope of Mauna Kea where palila still visit the remaining stands of māmane.

Location: Western slope of Mauna Kea adjacent to Ka‘ohe Game Management Area, Parker Ranch, and downslope of Mauna Kea Forest Reserve.

Driving time: 1 1/2 hours from Hilo; 1/2 hour from Waimea.

Size: 1,400 acres

Elevation range: 5,800 ft. – 7,000 ft.

Fence: 4-ft. woven-wire ungulate exclosure fence completed in 2006.

History: Historically, this site supported a rich dry forest of māmane (Sophora chrysophylla) and naio (Myoporum sandwicense). Native Hawaiians rarely visited high elevation forests or the wao ākua (realm of the gods), although they may have passed though the forest on their way to adze quarries at higher elevations. With the arrival of Europeans, this area was degraded by centuries of cattle grazing. Aerial photos from 1950 indicate that a dense forest existed on site. However, much of the forest was converted to pasture and today the remaining forest is highly degraded. Livestock were completely removed in 2010. It is classified as Palila (Loxioides bailleui) Critical Habitat.

kaohe forest

Ka‘ohe Restoration Area lies adjacent to Palila Critical Habitat and offers additional forest habitat.

Current forest: The upper and lower portions of the area support māmane and naio; much of the area in between the upper and lower portions is pasture. Cape ivy (Delairea odorata) is an invasive vine present throughout most of the forested area. The understory is dominated by non-native species including kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) and fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis). ‘Ulei (Osteomeles anthyllidifolia) and ‘a‘ali‘i (Dodonea viscosa) occur in some areas. Māmane seedlings are sprouting throughout the unit now that ungulates have been removed.

Current management efforts: (1) site preparation prior to outplanting, (2) collecting native seeds, (3) outplanting seedlings, (4) scattering native seeds, (5) controlling cape ivy and fountain grass, (6) monitoring Palila, and (7) monitoring/ maintaining the perimeter fence at Restoration Areas and the new Palila Critical Habitat fence.

 


Camp Rules

    • Prior to the trip, each volunteer (and chaperone) is required to carefully review the MKFRP Volunteer Packet. Each volunteer and/or chaperone is subject to the same State of Hawai’i laws and ethical codes as any MKFRP employee.
    • In signing the MKFRP waivers and Volunteer Agreement, each volunteer accepts personal responsibility for his/her own behavior and agrees to abide by the MKFRP rules and State law and behave accordingly.
    • A chaperone, group leader, or advisor is required with all youth groups. The chaperone is fully responsible for the behavior and actions of the group.
    • Inappropriate action by any volunteer may be grounds for immediate removal from MKFRP restoration areas.
    • When returning to the cabin after the workday, free time may be spent within an area prescribed by the MKRFP staff in and around the cabin.
    • Please be respectful of other people’s space, property, and quiet time and their need to sleep. Lights out in the cabin is at 10pm. Curtail noisy activity in and outside the cabin.
    • Respect natural resources
    • Assist in preventing the introduction of plants or animals.
    • All natural resources are to be left in their natural state.
    • Protected species (i.e., Palila) should not be disturbed.
    • Respect cultural areas and practices
    • Culturally responsible and respectful conduct by all personnel is expected.
    • All archaeological, historical, cultural and religious sites and areas shall be left in their natural state.
    • No gambling activities are allowed.
    • Stay in safe and authorized work areas. No wandering.
    • No fireworks are allowed.
    • No Smoking allowed. Fire destroys our precious dry forests.
    • Narcotics, illegal drugs, and alcohol are strictly prohibited.