Watersheds in West Maui Mountains and Haleakala

While Sarah McClane and Michael Howden may seem like an unlikely pair, their joint presentation on Thursday (3/15/12) evening at Maalaea concerning numerous aspects of both mountainous watersheds on Maui held the rapt attention of about thirty attendees at PWF. McClane offer a well organized power point presentation on the West Maui Mountains Watershed Parrnership, www.westmauiwatershed.org , which could be summed up as a healthy forest equals a sustainable water source, & while the work they do is varied, she explained that building fences to contained the feral hoved animals (Cattle, pigs and axix deer) was a huge segment of their effort.

In contrast, Howden, a permaculturist, and former chair of the Maui County Board of Water Supply, offered a more free form “laid back” oral presentation focusing on the watershed of South Maui on Haleakala, but many of the same concerns, including the fatal introduction of axis deer at Kaonoulu Ranch in 1960. He continued with the disastrous effect of the Poli Poli Forest Fire in January of 2007, and how the after effects contributed heavily to Kihei’s flooding since then, incorporated with the poor community plan process of building extensively in Kihei’s wetlands.

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