The morning was crisp and inviting as we drove to the trailhead at the top of the Honouliuli Forest Reserve, located amidst the Wai‘anae Mountain Range. Celeste Ventresca and Kim Welch of the Oahu Army Natural Resources Program (OANRP) hosted several law students for the Jarman Fellowship Service Trip. Molly Schmidt of the State Legacy Land Conservation Program (LLCP) also accompanied us and educated the law students about LLCP and its involvement in the conservation of the 3,500 acre forest reserve. The Honouliuli Forest Reserve watershed feeds O‘ahu’s largest drinking water aquifer, and is home to 35 threatened and endangered species, including 16 endemic species. The State of Hawai‘i’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) owns the Reserve and has partnered with OANRP to protect and maintain this critical habitat for Hawai‘i’s threatened and endangered species.
The hike to the work site was beautiful, with vast views of green ridgelines and the blue Pacific Ocean in the background. Our work site for the day was a small forest clearing, where OANRP had previously cleared invasive plants, such as strawberry guava (psidium cattleianum) and soapbush (clidemia hirta). Our group’s task was to weed the area and clear more invasive plant species, in order to give native plants a chance to grow. After a day’s work, Celeste and Kim surprised us with a special hike to see Kahuli tree snails (Achatinella mustelina), a snail species only found in the Wai‘anae mountains, and happy face spiders (Theridion grallator), which are endemic to several Hawaiian islands. The day was magical and the volunteers were amazing.
As the Summer 2012 Jarman Fellow recipient, I want to thank everyone who was involved in making the Jarman Fellowship possible. I would also like to thank Molly and everyone at LLCP for an invaluable summer internship and Celeste and Kim at OANRP for an amazing service trip to Honouliuli. For more photos of the service trip, check out ELP’s Facebook page here.
The Jarman Fellowship was created by ELP alumni in 2005 to allow first-year students to gain summer job experience in the government and public interest sectors of environmental law. The summer 2012 Jarman Fellow, Melissa Kolonie (’14), interned at DLNR’s Legacy Land Conservation Program (LLCP). LLCP is a state-funded program that provides grants to non-profits and governmental agencies for conservation land acquisitions and helped fund the acquisition of the Honouliuli Forest Reserve.
To learn more about how you can support the Jarman Fellowship, visit http://blog.hawaii.edu/elp/about/support-elp/.