Categorized | Environment

Nahelehele Dry Forest Symposium set for March 1


The 2013 Nahelehele Dry Forest Symposium will highlight dryland forest ecology and restoration efforts in Hawaii. The symposium is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, March 1, at the Courtyard at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

The film, “A King in China: the Life of Joseph Francis Rock,” will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu.

“The dryland forests of Hawaii are fragile habitats that are home to many of the rarest plants in the world,” said Kathy Frost, symposium chairperson. “Dryland forests were once considered to be the most diverse forest ecosystem on the Hawaiian Islands but today they are extremely deforested and degraded. Only remnant patches of the habitat remain to remind us of the highly diverse community of plants and animals that once dominated the landscape of West Hawaii.

“The Dryland Forest Symposium provides a forum for hearing about recent developments in dryland forest conservation and restoration, and an opportunity to interact with others interested in dryland forests,” Frost said.

The symposium will feature presentations by scientists and conservationists who are working to learn about and preserve Hawaiian dryland forest plants and ecosystems.

The program includes presentations on tropical dry forests in a changing world; the cultural significance of ohia; a cultural perspective on resource management; Joseph Rock, author of Indigenous Trees of Hawaii; tortoises as weed control for native Hawaiian plants; and coastal plant communities.

There will be presentations on pollen studies and what they can tell us about dryland forests during prehuman times; restoration at Puu Waawaa and the Waikoloa Dry Forest Preserve; and updates on naio thrips and the wiliwili gall wasp.

The public is invited to attend the symposium. To download registration forms, visit:

E-mail registration forms to Cortney Okumura, The Kohala Center, at or fax to (808) 885-6707.

For additional information, call Okumura at (808) 443-2757.

Admission to Thursday evening’s film is $5 and can be included with registration or paid at the door.

The Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium is a project of Kaahahui o ka Nahelehele , a non-profit organization dedicated to dry forest advocacy and partnerships.

Sponsors of this symposium include Hawaii Forest Institute, Arthur Lawrence Mullaly Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools-Land Assets Division, and The Kohala Center. The Joseph Rock film night is sponsored in part by Hawaii Forest and Trails and Donald Angus Foundation.

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