Environment

News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

New Molokai Beginning Farmers Program

Friday, October 17th, 2014

UH CTAHR Extension Service News Release

A new, island-wide Beginning Farmer Program will begin this month. Twice-monthly classes will be held in Ho`olehua at the UH Extension Office and at UH Maui College-Molokai Farm focused on commercial crop production. A beginning farmer is defined as one who has farmed less than 10 years.

The aging of farmers is a matter of national security. In 2010, the average age of the workforce nationwide was 37, while the average age of farmers was about 58. There’s has been a 30 percent increase in farmers over the age of 75 and a 20 percent decrease in the number of farmers under the age of 25.…

Dirt Road Gardens

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

I’d like to tell you a little story that may be of interest. About nine months ago, I tried to take a shortcut and make a vegetable garden. I used a dirt road at the edge of my farm because there was just bare dirt there, no grass or trees. I stretched a couple of irrigation tapes the length of the area I wanted (70 or 80 feet and 10 feet wide), turned it on, and let the water drip for a day and a night. Then made two ditches only three inches deep and three inches wide with a pick right at the edge of the drip tape the whole length.…

Healing of an Island

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

For 50 years beginning during World War II, the island of Kaho`olawe was rocked by bombs, dropped by the U.S. military for naval training. Hawaii residents recall hearing the explosions and feeling the ground shake as missiles left gouges in the earth. Now, after decades of protest efforts, cultural reconnection and environmental restoration, a process of healing is continuing as a strategic plan is being developed to guide Kaho`olawe’s future.

Once a spiritual and cultural center for Native Hawaiians, trespassing on Kaho`olawe was prohibited for half a century. In the early 1970s, people began questioning those laws, and in 1976, the Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana (PKO) formed and filed a suit in federal court to stop the bombing.…

Volunteers Take to Molokai Farms

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Volunteers Take to Molokai Farms

Mike Senese had recently graduated from high school in Massachusetts when he caught the farming bug. With a background mostly in gardening, Senese said he resolved to take a gap year before starting college and began research into different farming programs.

The 19-year-old’s search landed him a job as an educational farm volunteer on Molokai’s Pu`u O Hoku Ranch through the state’s World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, or popularly known as WWOOF, network.

“I’ve learned so much from being here already, I’m really amazed at how much hard work and labor goes into it all,” Senese said. He’s been working on Molokai for a month and plans to transfer to Maui or Hawaii Island in November.…

Molokai Crewmembers Join Hokule`a Voyage

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Molokai Crewmembers Join Hokule`a Voyage

Three Molokai residents have departed on a journey to follow the path of their ancestors across oceans and change the way the world views our environment. Last week, Mel Paoa, Mahina Hou Ross and Keoki Pescaia left for American Samoa to join Hawaiian double-hulled voyaging canoes Hokule`a and Hikianalia as they set sail for the northwestern tip of Aotearoa (New Zealand).

“The Molokai community fully supports these crewmembers as Hokule`a represents all of us, coming together to protect the places, values, and traditions that we love,” said Paoa, Molokai’s first voyaging captain for Hokule`a.

This week, they are sailing to Vava`u in Tonga, about 320 miles from Pago Pago Harbor in American Samoa, where they waited for favorable weather to depart on the first portion of the trip to Aotearoa.…

Federal Funds for Ag Conservation

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

USDA News Release

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reminds potential applicants to contact their local NRCS office to find out if they are eligible for the agency’s most common Farm Bill Programs (Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and Agricultural Management Assistance Program). On Molokai, contact the NRCS Ho`olehua Field Office at 808-567-6868.

Applications for this ranking period are due at the NRCS office by close of business on Oct. 17. Applications received after this date will be considered in the next ranking period. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis, but ranked according to specific application cutoff periods.

“We are encouraging farmers and ranchers to utilize the federal funding to help improve conservation on private land,” said Dr.…

A New Invasive Species – Hala Scale

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, County Extension Agent, UH CTAHR

“Pala ka hala, momona ka wana” is a saying connecting activities on the land with those in the ocean. In this case, when the hala fruits are ripe, the sea urchin or wana is fat and ready to eat. Now, hala will need to overcome a new nemesis that may not allow its fruits to ripen.

In 1995, the Hala Scale was discovered in a shipment of hala plants from the South Pacific to Hana, Maui. From there, it quickly spread to other islands. It was recently confirmed on Molokai in Puko`o and is believed to have been on the island for more than five years.…

It’s Wedgie Season

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

It’s Wedgie Season

Nene O Molokai News Release

Drawing by Michael Furuya

October and November is fledging season for wedge-tailed shearwaters. “Wedgies,” as they are affectionately called by wildlife biologists, are part of a mixed flock of seabirds that commercial fishermen rely upon to locate schools of ahi and other marketable fish. Young birds fledge from burrows excavated into coastal cliffs to life at sea. The uau kani, or wedge-tailed shearwater (Puffinus pacificus), is 17 inches in length from bill to tip of tail, with a wingspan of 38 inches. Adult birds leave coastal colonies at dawn to feed on fish and return after dark.…

East Molokai to Hold Recycling Event

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

County of Maui Solid Waste Division, Abandoned Vehicles and Metals Section News Release

County of Maui Department of Environmental Services and Molokai Metals Facility will be holding a metals and electronics collection event in east Molokai Thursday, Oct. 16 through Saturday, Oct. 18, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.  The collection site will be located at 8483 Kamehameha V Highway at Mile Marker 15. Items accepted include scrap metals, appliances, tires, auto batteries, propane tanks and electronics such as computers, monitors, printers, televisions and microwave ovens. No vehicles, non-metal furniture or household hazardous waste will be accepted. Residents will be assisted and directed at the site upon arrival.…

Krazy for Kolea Kontest Winners

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Nene o Molokai press release

This year marked the 17th annual Krazy for Kolea Kontest, and a kolea reported by Joe Kitagawa proved to be Molokai’s early bird, marking the beginning of the fall migration of the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva). At 11:21 a.m. on July 29, a kolea flushed from a pasture at the Kamakou Preserve. Joe wins a Kolea Research Hawaii T-shirt from the Hawaii Audubon Society and a gift certificate for one scoop of ice cream at Kamoi Snack-N-Go.

The kolea is a swift flying shorebird and has been clocked migrating at 118 miles per hour, although an average of 56 to 60 mph is more typical.…