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10/6/09 - Waiakea Timber Management Area

Posted Wednesday 7th October 2009 at 19:57 by bkrownd
Updated Wednesday 7th October 2009 at 20:18 by bkrownd
There was a new article in the local paper about logging permits in the "Waiakea Timber Management Area" which was created in the 1960's by plowing down huge tracts of native forest and planting alien tree species to create a timber industry. Very little harvesting has occurred over the years, but a couple of companies still have contracts for speculative "biomass", chip and veneer mills. The 'timber management area' is bounded at its lower end by vast tracts of weeds and development, but at its upper end by some of the most diverse flora and valuable native forests on the island, including Pu'u Maka'ala NAR, Upper Waiakea Forest Reserve, and the 'Ola'a Tract of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Management of timber operations would need to exclude border tracts from any logging to prevent greater ingress of alien weeds, overreach by loggers, and timber poaching in the native forests. (timber poaching in native forests is a constant problem here) Some of the areas along lower Stainback Highway have long ago lost their native flora, so logging isn't a concern, particularly if the timber operation takes out weed infestations under the canopy such as strawberry guava and tibouchina. I hope the Sierra Club etc spend as much time watchdogging this operation as they waste complaining in some other areas of the island. I am also concerned that timber operations might shut down Stainback Highway and our access to the native wilderness. If the operations get too large and profitable they may also attempt to expand.
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