Wednesday-October 31, Aina Koa Pono update–West Hawaii Today reports on Mayor Billy Kenoi’s comments about Aina Koa Pono’s biodiesel proposal for Ka’u on the Big Island. Â Click hereÂ
The Garden Island reports Green Energy of Kaua’i receiving a $72.9M loan guarantee committment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utillities Service to build a facility to burn woodchips from trees grown on Kaua’i. Construction is slated to begin in 2013 with the plant operational by 2014. To see the Garden Island announcement click here. To seeÂ the Pacific Business News article click here.
It’s a great time of year to regroup and find out what colleagues and experts have to say about new research and trends. If you happen to be heading to the Pacific Northwest in November, here’s information on the Northwest Bioenergy Research Symposium on November 13. Symposium organizers will host Frank Botler, USDA NIFA Director,Institute of Bioenergy, Climate and Environment as the keynote speaker.
And, a reminder, the 2012 International Sandalwood SymposiumÂ is slated for October 21-24 at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii, Manoa in Honolulu. The symposium is being organized by the International Sandalwood Foundation and United Plant Savers.
For anyone who has a bucket list of world class archaeological sites they would like to visit, we suggest putting Kauai’s Makauhawi Cave Reserve, Hawaii’s largest limestone cave, one of the richest fossil sites on the islands and a uniquely preservedÂ archaeologicalÂ site–on the top of your list.
This integrated site reveals 10,000 years of strata containing fossil remains of plants and animals and spans prehistory to post colonization.Â Â As the website says, “It’s a living museum dedicated not just to the past but also to experiments in native species conservation”.
The reserve, located on Grove Farm Co. lands,Â a Kauai company owned by former AOL/Time Warner Chief, Steve Case, is managedÂ byÂ Lida Pigott Burney and Dr. David BurneyÂ with the help of volunteers and contributors from around the globe. For an overview of progressive work on the site and mapsÂ see this pdf— supported by National Tropical Botanical Garden, Grove Farm and National Geographic.
The excavation provides a view of Â the evolution of Hawaii’s forest environments.Pollen and seeds found in the pre-human layers reveal that many plants that are now rare, or only known from isolated or upland areas, were once part of a complex coastal forest. These finds led Burney to the theory that today’s dominant native forest trees like ‘ohi’a, hala and koa were once comparatively small parts of the forest ecosystem. Once the ecosystem was disturbed by human contact, these survivors were able to gain greater density as other plants disappeared.
“Probably the key difference between pre-human times and now is that the early forests were much more diverse”, Â Burney stated in a 2005 Honolulu Advertiser article. Â The complex coastal forest of the region has been intricately described from seed and pollen remains. Two species of plants â€” kou and hala â€” that were once believed to be Polynesian introductions have been proven to predate human arrival.
One of the most intriguing discoveries at the site is described on Dr. Burney’s blog, the Weirdest Duck of Them All.
The Hawai’i Forest Industry Association will be hosting theÂ â€œGrowing Â Koa in Hawaiâ€˜iÂ Nei” Symposium Â on November 16th & 17th, 2012.
The Key Note Speaker will be Charles Michler, Director of the Tropical Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center.
The Hawai’iÂ Forest Industry Association, a non-profit corporation, was established in 1989 and continues to actively promote awareness of responsible forest management. To find out more about the Koa Symposium and HFIAâ€™s many projects click here.