Koa Reforestation Project
Rehabilitation of the Koa Forest is one of the primary objectives for the ranch. Historically, the land was populated with an even distribution of Ohia and Koa trees constituting the native forest. Commercial pressures drove prior landowners to clear the trees from large tracts for conversion into cattle grazing pastures. In the areas that remained forested, the Koa trees were over-harvested for their high value timber. After many decades of these practices, the forests succumbed to an invasion of non-native plant species that threaten the existence of the native forest ecosystem.
Our conservation work has focused upon restoring the Koa trees as one of the primary anchor species for the native forest regeneration. These efforts involve numerous ecological practices including; removal of non-native plant species, introduction of bio-controls to limit growth of invasive species, exclusion of grazing and rooting animals harmful to natural Koa seedling propagation, monitoring of soil biology to ensure optimal growing conditions for native forest species, care and maintenance of mature seed-bank generating Koa specimens, etc. These efforts are extremely labor intensive but their impacts are very self-evident over a short window of time. The proliferation of Koa seedling emergence since these practices were initially employed has been truly remarkable.