The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife has announced it is seeking public input and comments on a draft forest reserve management plan for Nounou and Kalepa Forest Reserves on Kaua‘i.
The plan is part of a series of site-specific plans to be prepared by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife for individual forest reserves throughout the state.
Generally, management plans include a brief history of the specific forest reserve, a complete record of land transactions and boundary changes over time, a description of cultural and natural resources, as well as an account of infrastructure and intended uses of the area.
The DLNR is saying the plans will serve to:
- provide information on the natural resources of the reserve;
- prioritize implementation of management objectives;
- assist in preparation of regulatory compliance documents required to implement management actions outlined in the plan;
- support DOFAW efforts to secure funding for plan objectives; and
- solicit requests for proposals or bids to implement plan objectives.
The management plan approval process includes review by DOFAW Branch and Administrative staff, partner agency and public consultation, approval by the Administrator of DOFAW, and finally approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Nounou Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s Proclamation in 1918 to protect the spring and to reforest the ridge. Kalepa Forest Reserve was established by Governor’s Proclamation in 1944, also for reforestation. Both forest reserves are on the windward side of Kaua‘i.
Nounou Forest Reserve lies to the north of Kalepa Forest Reserve, and they are separated by the Wailua River, which is part of the Wailua River State Park. Together, Nounou and Kalepa comprise approximately 1,393 acres of public land and are generally characterized by steep, lower-mesic forested slopes.
Vegetation is primarily composed of non-native species, although some native vegetation still exists in the upper portion of the reserves. Infrastructure in Nounou Forest Reserve is minimal and mostly for public access. There are small fence exclosures in both reserves for rare plant protection and outplanting. No hunting or camping is permitted in either forest reserve.
The Forest Reserve System in Hawai‘i encompasses approximately 676,000 acres of conservation land, and it was created in 1903 with the goal of protecting forests and other watershed areas to ensure an ample water supply for the people of Hawai‘i.
“The Forest Reserve System in Hawai‘i contributes to the public’s source of fresh water, provides recreational opportunities, forest products, and a wealth of cultural and natural resources,” DOFAW administrator Lisa Hadway said. “The management plans provide a historical context and current description of resources within these forest reserves, in addition to providing guidance for future management activities.”
Draft management plans will be posted on the DLNR DOFAW at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/frs/reserves/management-plans/.
Submit written comments by May 31, 2015 to:
Jan Pali, Forestry and Watershed Planner
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325
Honolulu, HI 96813