News stories regarding Molokai’s outdoor environment

Flood Risk Meeting for South Shore Residents

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Maui County News Release

Residents of Kaunakakai and Molokai’s south shore areas are urged to attend a community meeting for those who may be affected by the new digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs). The County of Maui, State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be holding the meetings on Molokai and Maui.

These new maps may impact residential flood risk ratings by changing flood insurance requirements when the DFIRM becomes effective on Nov. 4 of this year. The areas in Maui County that will be affected by these changes are Kihei, Waikapu, Kaunakakai and residents living on the south shore of Molokai.…

Oriental Fruit Fly

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Glenn I. Teves, UH CTAHR County Extension Agent

The most damaging pest of fruits in Hawaii is the Oriental Fruit Fly, a small fly about 3/16 inch in length. It arrived in Hawaii around the mid-1940s, and is a major pest of over 230 kinds of fruits and vegetables. Native to Southern Asia, it’s also found on the islands of Sri Lanka and Taiwan. In the U.S., it’s only found in Hawaii but has been intercepted in California several times. Summer is their heyday when mango, papaya, and banana are in full production, and can be distinguished from another fruit fly, the Melon Fly, by its clear wings and a black T on its abdomen.…

Fencing Proposed for Waikolu

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Fencing Proposed for Waikolu

Dispatch Photo.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has proposed a six-mile fence along the edge of Waikolu Valley to keep out ungulates that DLNR says is damaging native plants and creating erosion problems.

“By placing the fence along the steep ridge of Waikolu Valley we are hoping to reduce the movement of game mammals into the valley and beyond, where they impact natural resources and are less accessible to hunters,” said Scott Fretz, Department of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Maui District Manager in a press release.

James Espaniola, a DOFAW field technician on Molokai who is leading the project, explained at a community meeting last week that the fence would protect native plants and consumable plants, including wild taro, kukui and guava.…

Judge Rules County GMO Ban Invalid

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

A federal judge has ruled that a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops is invalid. The order determined that the ordinance, initiated and passed by voters in November’s election, was preempted by federal and state law that allows cultivation of GE crops, and therefore the ban exceeds the county’s authority.

In the decision issued last Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Mollway made it clear that the decision was not a comment on the validity of concerns for or against the ban, but simply a legal response to the question of whether the ban was enforceable based on existing state and federal law.…

Community Meeting For Proposed Waikolu-Pu`u Ali`i Fence Project

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

DLNR News Release

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)  invites the  Molokai community and interested parties to an informational meeting concerning a proposed fencing and management project in the Waikolu Valley and Pu`u Ali`i Natural Area Reserve areas.  The purpose of the proposed project is to protect the natural resources of the Pu`u Ali`i Natural Area Reserve (NAR) while improving hunting opportunities within the Molokai Forest Reserve hunting units.  The fence will help to prevent entry of pigs, goats and deer into the NAR and help to prevent erosion into nearshore waters, protect fisheries and water supplies, and conserve native Hawaiian plants and wildlife.…

Eyes on the Reef

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Community Contributed

By Cheryl Corbiell

On June 6, Darla White with DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) provided the first “Eyes of the Reef” (EOR) skills training on Molokai at Kulana `Oiwi to an enthusiastic crowd of Molokai residents.

The EOR training has been designed to help ocean users such as community members, reef users, fishers, and commercial operators the skills to provide reliable monitoring and reporting on coral bleaching; coral and fish diseases; Crown-of-thorns Sea stars outbreaks, marine alien invasive species, and native species blooms. The participants learned how to detect the early signs of coral in distress.

“Threats to the world’s reefs have increased by over 30 percent, and today, 75 percent of the coral reefs in the world are threatened,” said White. …

March of the Molokai Mangrove

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Nene O Molokai News Release

Introduced alien mangrove threatens the long-term sustainability of south shore coastal resources. During 2014 and 2015, Sarah Jenkins and Lily Jenkins conducted a study on the socioeconomic and ecological impacts of introduced Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) on Molokai. The intent was to determine if the mangrove has the potential to reach the fringing reef, and if so, what are the impending socioeconomic and ecological impacts.

Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques were used to interpret aerial imagery, historic maps, and coastal surveys to map seaward migration, analyze ecological effects, and predict the future impact on Molokai’s south shore through benthic habitat modeling.…

Summer Gardening and Reading Festival

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Interval House Molokai News Release

Celebrate Summer Gardening and Reading with Interval House Molokai!  Join us on Saturday, June 27, on the public library grounds from 10 a.m. through 1 p.m., to launch into fun and enriching summer activities.

Our AmeriCorps members have grown hundreds of veggie plants to give away to our community to start home gardens.  Stop by and select from an assortment of herbs and green bean, sweet pea, cherry tomato, and mustard cabbage plants.  We will be distributing children’s gardening books that highlight where food comes from, the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and how to start gardens in your own backyards. …

4-H Expo Top in Class

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

4-H Expo Top in Class

Youth showcased months of hard work at last weekend’s annual 4-H Expo, featuring showmanship and market competitions for hogs, steer and goats, small animal exhibits and a live auction.

Lindley Reyes. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

4-H stands for “head, heart, hands and health” and is a national educational organization. On Molokai,  students ages five through high school seniors are involved in a livestock program that challenges them to learn responsibility through raising, showing and judging livestock, according to organizers.

Exhibitors in the hog showmanship competition guided their pigs in the ring so the judge could watch for good control over the animal, general health and ask students questions about their hogs.…

Brushfire Burns an Acre

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Maui Fire Dept. News Release

On June 12, firefighters on Molokai responded to a brushfire near Ho`olehua airport.

Ho`olehua firefighters arrived at 12:58 p.m. and found about a quarter-acre of grass and brush burning about a mile east of the airport, on the south side of Maunaloa Highway. An engine and water tanker from Kaunakakai arrived minutes later and assited with bringing the fires under control. The fire was called contained by 2:04 and extinguished at 2:55 p.m.

The fire was determined to be accidental and was caused when remnants from an agricultural fire ignited nearby grass. About an acre was scorched on the residential property in Ho`olehua.…