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Volunteer trip August 12, 2017

Last week the Erdman family and `Ulupalakua Ranch were honored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Auwahi Forest Restoration Project for an unprecedented two decades of commitment to meaningful diverse forest restoration at Auwahi. A plaque was presented and afterwards a rare māhoe seedling planted. Though the ecological successes and the extensive community participation at Auwahi often receive the bulk of attention, what is lost for many is that the restoration work we do at Auwahi forest is occurring on a working cattle ranch and is only possible because of the Erdman family’s support.
After 20 years, one of the greatest achievements of the Auwahi project is the return of native seedlings of diverse species reappearing in the recovering forest understory. To ecologists, this is like hearing a heartbeat getting louder; a sign of health. With our help and any luck, the seedlings that are germinating now will live for hundreds of years, outliving all of us, even probably outliving the plaque. What this generation can be proud of is that because of our communal efforts and the Erdman’s support, we are the generation responsible for this. In many ways, the return of these seedlings is the real award.

On our volunteer trips to Auwahi forest, we work as a team to plant native seedlings, pull weeds, and gather seeds. Respectfully, for your safety and the safety of others, if you have any pertinent medical or physical conditions that would affect your ability to engage in this type of fieldwork please consider these factors carefully when offering to volunteer at Auwahi. To request a seat in one of our 4x4 vehicles, please send us a note at

Located on and sponsored by `Ulupalakua Ranch, the Auwahi Project ( protects one of the last diverse tracts of dryland forest in the archipelago. We are a community based project, in large part, dependent on the contributions of the public, especially in terms of volunteerism for tree planting and other aspects of forest management. 

As usual, before leaving the ranch we will be decontaminating our boots with brushes to help prevent the spread of invasive plants and using alcohol to avoid the potential spread of rapid `ōhi`a death (ROD) and other potential pathogens that can threaten our native Hawaiian forests. 

Where: ʻUlupalakua Ranch Store     

When: Saturday, August 12, 2017    8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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.

We have a limited number of 4x4 drive vehicles and, as a result, limited room for volunteers. Please don't let this discourage you from signing up but we do ask for your understanding for not being able to accommodate everyone who wants to volunteer.

Mahalo no,

Auwahi Forest Restoration `ohana