We are pleased to bring to you the first issue of our West Maui Mountains Watershed Partnership Quarterly Newsletter. Here, we provide a brief synopsis of our activities over the past quarter and lists upcoming events in the coming months. We envision this to be a tool for educating folks about the work we do, threats to our native forests, and the importance of healthy watersheds. Have a look and let us know what you think!
WMMWP is a non-profit Partner of 1% for the Planet!
WMMWP and our non-profit, Malama Kahalawai, Inc., was accepted to the 1% for Planet network of over 2,900 nonprofit organizations doing great work to help the planet. This is a global network of for-profit companies that have committed to donating 1% of their proceeds to deserving non-profit organizations within the network. 1% for the Planet is enabling businesses to take a lead role in being environmental stewards and to set an example for the rest of the business community. These companies embrace the notion that the sustainability of the natural environment is fundamental to the sustainability of business.
Malama Kahalawai, Inc. can accept tax deductible donations on behalf of WMMWP as a part of this program, and the business can get credit for this donation, not only through their tax credit, but through their membership in the 1% for the Planet network.
WMMWP and other Watershed Partnerships receive 2010 Conservation Innovation Award
WMMWP, along with other Watershed Partnerships in the state, was awarded the 2010 Conservation Innovation Award by the Hawaii Conservation Alliance at this years Conservation Conference on Oahu.
The award was given to "the instigators or champions or a procedure that leads to significant advances to the structure or nature of environmental conservation in Hawaii."
Our watershed coordinator, Chris Brosius, accepted the award on our behalf, along with a beautiful native plant on our behalf. We are very honored to be recognized and we continue to look for new ways to futher our efforts to protect our forested watersheds!
WMMWP crews have been working diligently to retro-fit many of our fences to protect against Axis Deer in our watersheds. This means creating fences over 8 feet tall! Axis Deer (Axis axis) is a moderately large spotted deer, even looking like Bambi in their old age! Native to India they were brought to Maui in 1959 by order of the State Legislature as a "game species with reportedly low reproductive potential."* However, their population has exploded from an introduction with only 9 animals to an estimated populations in the thousands. Building strong deer fences has become a priority to protect pristine native habitat from the foraging, nesting and rubbing of these game animals.
See a photo of an Axis deer to the right that was spotted in the West Maui Mountains by WMMWP crews!
* Excerpt from http://www.rarehawaii.org/deerpage/deer.htm - also found in Maui Axis Deer Group Internal Findings and Recommendations for a Maui Deer Management Plan - http://www.nps.gov/applications/parks/hale/ppdocuments/ACF214.doc
Dirty work for clean water.
Since our inception in 1998, the Partnership has managed the native forests of West Maui that provide most of the water for West and South Maui. We protect this fragile ecosystem from invasive feral ungulates by building fences to keep them from trampling, eroding, and damaging the area. We also monitor and control weeds. And we do it because our forests are worth a lot more than you might think.
Acres of partnership lands: 47,321
Miles of fences built: 19.4 miles
Acres of land protected above fences: 21,084 acres
Acres of critical habitat for endangered plants protected: 23,310
Number of rare plants, animals and communites protected: 126
Miles of perennial streams protected: 103.87
The estimated value of services a native Hawaiian Watershed loses unless protected*: $7,400,000,000 to $14,000,000,000
* "Environmental Evaluation and the Hawaiian Economy" prepared by the University of Hawai'i Economic Research Organization. All costs are estimated as net present value using 3% and 1% social discount rates for the ranges. Exerted from "Last Stand - The Vanishing Hawaiian Forest" prepared by The Nature Conservancy, Hawai'i. For a free copy, contact TNC.