Senior Plant Ecological Research Technician, Amanda Irish and five other Liko Na Pilina field assistants from the Hybrid Ecosystem Project of University of Hawaii (UH) at Hilo assisted our crew in the forest this past Monday. It was pure joy to work along-side such well learned individuals, who have been supporting Dr. Becky Ostertag’s hybrid forest project in Keaukaha Military Reserve (KMR). Dr. Ostertag has since 2013 been conducting research on 20 KMR hybrid forest plots to help support compromised native forest environments. The overall goal of the project is to use the hybrid restoration model to allow for native seedling regeneration and keep out invasive species.
I personally derived much pleasure in the satisfaction the group felt with the pulling of clidemia (also known as Koster’s curse), one of the weeds that somehow is more tenacious on the KMR site. We covered a large area and cleared a great deal of clidemia that morning! Before escorting the group back out of the forest following a lively lunch discussion, we all took pleasure in visiting the ha’iwale clusters at the heart of Keau’ohana. Ten ha’iwale fruit were collected for propagation at Ann Kobsa’s native plant nursery. Finds up to $10,000 are issued for the taking from an endangered species. Fortunately, Ann and I have permits from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to help perpetuate the species with expertise. It was refreshing to find such kindred souls! Thank you to the Liko Na Pilina ‘ohana!