The ancient māmane forests of Honua`ula...
This is the time of year when the māmane (Sophora chrysophylla) trees of Auwahi start to flower and light the country up, their canopies packed with cadmium yellow flowers.
Scraps of native forest patches scattered across the upland regions of the Honua’ula moku(district) of southwest Haleakalā indicate that at one time a majestic band of māmaneforest extended across this slope. The māmane that grew in this forest was much larger than the dwarfed form that most people are familiar with that still occurs in the upper elevations of Haleakalā National Park. These were immense trees with trunk diameters as large as dining room tables. All these trees are now much reduced in size and vigor but at one time probably grew upwards of 30 feet, interlocking their canopies, covering the area that we now know only as empty pasture lands.
Māmane flowers contain a sweet, light nectar nearly essential as an energy source, irresistible to native birds. In the past, this annual flowering probably provided an important energy burst for forest birds who must have come from far and wide for the important event.
Saturday January 20, 2018, we are heading back up to Auwahi.
On our volunteer trips to Auwahi forest, we work as a team to plant native seedlings, pull weeds, and gather seeds.
To volunteer with our program requires that you are in reasonably good physical condition with no major medical issues (heart conditions, asthma, bee allergies, diabetes, pregnancy, physical injuries, etc..). If this is your first time volunteering, for your safety and the safety of others, please let us know that you meet these requirements.
Due to limited seating, please understand that confirmation of your reservation is required for you to attend. To request a seat, send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond to your request by Monday, January 15, 2018.
Where: Meet at ʻUlupalakua Ranch Store. Please park behind store, bring all your gear, and we will head up by 4WD up to the restored forest at Auwahi
When: Saturday, January 20, 2018 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Located on and sponsored by `Ulupalakua Ranch, the Auwahi Project (www.auwahi.org) 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.
Due to the rough and steep terrain, we require hiking boots 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.
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.
Auwahi Forest Restoration `ohana