Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods

December 2011

Volume:3 Issue: 12


Governor Abercrombie Unveils Plan To Protect Hawaii's Water Sources 


rain forest 

        Waihe`e: West Maui Mountains. Photo: Air Maui

           Hawaii's forests provide water for human use.


Honolulu - In an effort to save Hawai'i's forests and protect our water sources, Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced a comprehensive action plan titled, "The Rain Follows the Forests."
"Hawai'i's forests are in trouble - more than half of our forests have been overrun because they were victim to the most damaging invasive species," said Governor Abercrombie. "We must work to reverse the grave decline of the islands' life-giving forests to sustain and enrich current and future generations."

Currently, only 10 percent of the priority watershed forests are protected; a level of management that has taken 40 years to achieve. The Rain Follows the Forests, which is derived from a common Hawaiian saying (Hahai no ka ua i ka ululā 'au) calls for necessary stewardship of natural resources. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has made securing the future of our water supply a priority and created this action plan to meet the following goals:


  • Remove or contain damaging invasive weeds that threaten priority areas
    • Invasive weeds degrade native forests; some invasive plants also consume more water than indigenous species. For example, a forest of alien strawberry guava trees can evaporate 27 percent more water than native 'ōhi'a forests.
  • Monitor and control other forest threats including fires, predators, and plant diseases
  • Restore and plant native species in priority areas and buffer areas
  • Establish benchmarks and monitor success of the on-the-ground actions
  • Educate residents and visitors about the cultural, economic, and environmental importance of conserving native forests
  • Promote consistent and informed land use decision-making that protects watersheds 

These goals aim to double the amount of protected watershed areas in 10 years. It will require approximately $11 million per year and would provide for over 150 new natural resource careers.

"I am committed to working with the Legislature on finding creative ways to fund this plan," stated Governor Abercrombie. "Investing in the protection of fresh water sources must be the highest priority for Hawai'i's public leaders and the Department of Land and Natural Resources."


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From the Fields


Darrell Fox, COO


Peat Pellet Flood Table

                               Peat Pellet Flood Tables

It is a very busy time for the HLH field crews. Nursery buildings #1 and #2 are completely stocked with newly planted seedlings. The seeds planted in building #1 are already sprouting. Nursery building #3 is under construction. The mist table area now has been converted to an additional 54 flood tables capable of holding 1344 seedlings each. At full density our seedling capacity is 185,472 trees. With cooperating weather it is possible to get a second rotation. The catchment ponds are at capacity so sufficient water is on hand for a full season of seedling production.  


The clearing of invasive species from this year's planting area is underway and unit tree and legacy areas are being mapped to plan the sequence of planting. All previously planted areas are being surveyed for any underperforming trees and being replanted with large nursery carried trees that are about 3 feet tall. This will put the replanting in a competitive position with trees already in the field. This process will continue through the end of the year until all areas are up to full density. The weather has given us a jump start on the season with seasonably normal levels of rainfall. Our weather station has sensors deployed at four depths from 8 inches to 4 feet. They are all showing complete hydration with good in the ground reserves. This will create ideal conditions for replanted trees and for the establishment planting of 2011 trees.


Soil testing is complete and we have formulated our supplemental fertilization. This will be applied to existing trees throughout the remainder of the year. By matching the fertilizer to the needs of the trees we are able to avoid adding unnecessary nutrients that could encourage competitors and be wasted as runoff. The fertilizer is applied only around the drip line of the trees where it will do the most good.


The holiday season is upon us with cooler wetter weather and lots of work to be done. This is the beginning of about 4 months of hard work that pays off in acres of restored forest and watershed. Once again, thanks to our Legacy Partners and tree owners for making all of this possible. Happy Holidays.




CA Passes Cap & Trade Program

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today unanimously adopted the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Market-Based Compliance Mechanisms Regulation, Including Compliance Offset Protocols, also known as the Cap-and-Trade program.  While, the regulations still include placeholder language for REDD credits in the future, this must be approved through a separate regulatory process.

This regulation requires capped stationary emission sources to report emissions for 2011 and 2012 to the ARB.  The first compliance period for stationary sources begins in 2013.  Transportation emissions will come under the cap in 2015.  The Cap-and-Trade program is a critical component of the state's efforts to achieve the emission reduction mandates set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (known as AB 32) - legislation designed to attack climate change by requiring California to reduce carbon pollution to 1990 levels by 2020.

To implement AB 32, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has adopted a comprehensive, balanced program targeting 85 percent of the state's carbon pollution. AB 32 will require 80 percent of the emission reductions to come from measures like reducing CO2 from cars, and many of these measures will have additional benefits like reducing localized air pollution. About 20 percent of the reductions will come from a cap and trade program establishing the second largest compliance carbon market in the world. Companies required to reduce their emissions under the "cap" will be allowed to use carbon offset credits to fulfill 8 percent of their compliance requirements. One source for these credits is protection and improved management of forests.

Offsets provide a variety of benefits to the state's climate program. They result in emission reductions from sources not subject to the cap - for example, forests and dairies. They help minimize the costs of the program to business and consumers. They reduce emissions quickly. And they provide a host of other benefits to local people and the environment such as protecting our water quality, food supply, and fish and wildlife. The ARB has crafted a rigorous set of requirements that ensure that forest offsets will reliably produce benefits to the atmosphere while creating value to those landowners who change their practices to steward private forestland.

California's old growth redwood forests are among the most carbon-rich forests on the planet, and our experience shows that forest offsets can meet the requirements of AB 32. For the past six years The Conservation Fund and The Nature Conservancy have created a model for effective forest carbon credits at the Garcia River Forest in California's North Coast. In 2008 the Garcia River Forest became one of the first forests recognized by the Climate Action Reserve as a verified source of carbon credits. On average, the Garcia River Forest is storing more than 150,000 tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking more than 28,000 cars off the road every year.

As we are learning in California, a well-designed and rigorous forest-based carbon offset program is a critical tool in a climate program that can reduce emissions effectively. With strong standards based in good science and experience on the ground, we are confident that forests can reduce emissions while providing public benefits like cleaner air and water and a healthier economy. 


Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods Gains Global Friendships


Wall Street Jurnal  


China TNC visit to ranch

New friend from China's Nature Conservancy drop in to say Aloha


China TNC tour

       China TNC makes time to visit HLH & Kukiau Ranch


After China Mengniu Dairy Group went public in Hong Kong in 2004, the firm's founder, Niu Gensheng, was baffled to suddenly find himself enormously rich.

Mr. Niu's parents were so poor that they sold him for 50 yuan to a couple when he was barely a month old. (That's about $7 at the current exchange rate, but it was more than a month's salary for average Chinese then.) Now 50, he started in the dairy industry 25 years ago, washing milk bottles. After his company went public, neither he nor the people around him could quite grasp what the windfall of hundreds of millions of yuan meant.


"When you're rich -- especially when you're rich in a place where most people are poor -- they look at you differently," he told me in an interview in New York. His province, Inner Mongolia, is landlocked and poor. He felt that people expected him to reach into his pocket every time the community or local government needed money. At his children's school, he said, whenever there was an event that needed to be paid for, everybody would look at his kids.

Mr. Niu also worried about his safety: He'd read news reports about newly-rich local businessmen getting kidnapped and killed, and knew that one of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's sons had been kidnapped and only released after the family paid a huge ransom.

"We asked ourselves, 'What happened?' and 'Why?" Mr. Niu said of his family. "We were not happy at all."

In order to keep "good life, good health and good reputation" for himself and his family, Mr. Niu said he decided to donate all his shares to set up a foundation to support causes related to agriculture, education and medicine. The shares were worth some $500 million at the end of last year.

After his donation became public, Mr. Niu felt that many people -- from his friends and relatives to employees and local government officials -- started looking at him in a much-friendlier way.

"You have more friends when you're poor," he joked.

Mr. Niu's story reflects a reality of China: Rich people are burdened by the suspicion, jealousy and resentment of others. That's probably true everywhere in the world, but it's a revelation to the newly rich in China, where people place enormous importance on how others think of them.

I don't think Mr. Niu parted with hundreds of millions of dollars just for his own peace of mind. He mentioned that people definitely respect him a lot more than when he was simply a successful businessman, and added that he gets great satisfaction from helping those in need. But in philanthropy, I think he's found a way that promises better lives for both the very rich and the very poor in China.

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In This Issue
Governor Abercrombie Unveils Plan to Protect Hawaii's Water Sources
From the Field
CA Passes Cap & Trade Program
Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods Gains Global Friendships

Did you know?

More birds have become extinct in Hawaii than in any other part of the world. A total of 26 species died out and 27 more are endangered by changes in their natural habitats, forest destruction, mongooses and man.




Sponsor the planting of a Koa Legacy Tree and make a difference. Visit www.LegacyTrees.org to learn how.





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