Recently, high winds associated with hurricane Iselle impacted southwest Haleakalā, the Honua’ula ahupua’a, better known in modern times as ‘Ulupalakua, and the core of ‘Ulupalakua Ranch. Accelerating off the southwest rift, the high winds blew down windfalls of eucalyptus and pines and damaged numerous ranch buildings. The scene after the storm was one of chaos leaving the Ranch attempting to dig itself out and recover function in the face of massive and historic damage.
One silver lining is that Auwahi forest, part of ‘Ulupalakua Ranch, and the focus of over a decade-long community-based forest restoration project, remained largely intact according to Ranch owner Sumner Erdman who conducted an aerial survey of the area. That said, it will take more intensive field surveys to determine Iselle’s true impact, as even just the death of a few strategically located trees could be the tipping point that would shift that species recovery potential from very good to much less than that.
We are heading up to Auwahi again to plant more trees. We would love to have you join us and help rebuild the forest. Whether you can make it or not please keep the Ranch in mind, just as with our Big Island neighbors, for a complete and speedy recovery during this time. The Ranch’s unequivocal support for forest restoration on a privately owned cattle ranch could serve as a model for public-minded stewardship. Mahalo loa to all of you for your aloha and volunteerism for the Auwahi forest and all the allied projects that protect and restore Hawaiian biological and cultural resources.
Where: ‘Ulupalakua Ranch Store
When: Saturday, August 30th, 2014, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
If you would like to join us, please reserve your seat by contacting
Due to the rough and steep terrain, WE REQUIRE HIKING BOOTS TO BE WORN THAT COVER THE ANKLE, and unfortunately, we will have to turn folks away without proper boots. We have some extra boots you can borrow but please bring your own socks. Plan to pack layered clothing, rain gear, two liters of water, lunch, sunscreen and a hat. Please clean all your gear, backpacks and boots to leave hitchhiking seeds behind.
A hui hou, mālama pono!
Maui Restoration Group