About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ka`u News Briefs Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017


A 2009 photo of an axis deer killed by a Big Island Invasive Sepcies Committee marksman.
Photo from BIISC
NO AXIS DEER IN KA`U is the declaration of Big Island Invasive Species Committee. A story by Tom Callis of the Hawai`i Tribune Herald this morning say BIISC "has declared victory in its effort to remove axis deer from Ka‘u, nearly eight years since they were introduced. Spokeswoman Franny Brewer said there have been no confirmed sightings of the deer since the last one was killed in 2012."
     The story reports that it was the keen eyes of the public who reported seeing the axis deer, which can wreck havoc on farms and ranches and disturb native forests. Callis writes that "Game cameras were installed across 5,200 acres, capturing nearly 7,000 hours of footage, to ensure the deer no longer were present. Four were killed by hired hunters."
     Introduction of the axis deer came with a helicopter pilot from Maui cooperating with hunters and ranchers who wanted more game on this island, where it is mainly wild boar, sheep, goats and turkeys.
Axis deer were lifted from Maui to Hawai`i Island for hunting.
The pilot, hunter and rancher were prosecuted and the elimination
of this invasive species began. Photo from mauiderhunting.com.
     The axis deer are already established on Moloka`i, Lana`i and Maui where they run in herds and hunters go after them with bows and rifles. The Big Island would have offered a huge range of uninhabited land where the axis deer population could have exploded. Their ability to jump high would have diminished the work of conservation agencies that built multi-million dollar fences to protect areas of native species habitat from ungulates such as goats, sheep and pigs. Deer would have become another pest as they could have reproduced quickly. In 1868, introduction of a few deer onto Moloka`i led to the population growing to 7,000 within 30 years.
      On April 29, 2011, an axis deer was caught on a game camera in Ka`u, after ranchers reported a deer sighting. Agencies joining together to eliminate them included BIISC, state Department of Land & Natural Resources, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, U.S.G.S., Three Mountain Alliance and The Nature Conservancy.
Anyone seeing an axis deer on Hawai`i Island is
asked to call 442-4036 or 933-3340.
Photo from redbubble.net
     In early April of 2012, DLNR and BIISC announced the first Big Island killing of the invasive axis deer, without disclosing its location. Invasive Species Committee manager Jan Schipper, said, at that time, "We are not able to disclose the exact locations of deer we have sighted, or the animal that was shot, out of respect for cooperating landowners' privacy. We are mindful that trespassing and poaching are a major concern for some landowners." Schipper described a protocol to ensure removing the problem deer and examining the deer for disease.
      A total of four were killed by the end of 2012, with none reported since that time.
     After the illegal introduction of the axis deer to the Big Island, the state prosecuted and fined the hunter, rancher and helicopter pilot, under laws prohibiting the holding of game animals without permits.
     Anyone seeing another axis deer on the island is encouraged to call  443-4036 or 933-3340.

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THE EUCALYPTUS FARMS ON THE HILLSIDE ABOVE PAHALA, and extending toward Na`alehu and Kapapala, would likely be harvested in blocks, not all at one time, according to forestry experts.
      Harvesting "fields" separated from one another rather than clear cutting the eucalyptus all at one time would help control erosion and mitigate the impact on the view planes of the area. For the 3,700 acres of eucalyptus in Pahala, the harvesting could be spread over five years, creating a few jobs for Ka`u people.
      The eucalyptus is on Kamehameha Schools land and is being sold to Hū Honua by an international timber company called Cambium Global Timberland, which has a land lease soon to expire.
Fires, drought and wind damaged the Pahala eucalypus farms that
 may soon be harvested for the power plant, being built in
Pepe`ekeo. Photo by Julia Neal
     If the sale finalizes and the timber goes to Hū Honua, the logs would be hauled from the Pahala area along Hwy 11 through Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and Hilo and up the Hilo coast toward Hamakua to Pepe`ekeo and the new power plant being built there. In addition to the 3,700 acres of eucalyptus in Pahala, the company would harvest eucalyptus grown on 4,500 acres at a plantation north of Hilo called Pinnacle, also owed by Cambium Global.
    The lease on the eucalyptus farms near Pahala call for the cutting of the trees and the killing of their stumps before the end of the lease term. Whether Kamehameha Schools would open up the land for pasture, coffee farms, growing of koa - Kamehameha has a 55 acre koa farm adjacent to the eucalyptus, the replanting of eucalyptus or other uses is still to be determined.
     The eucalyptus grown in Ka`u is considered far less valuable than the eucalyptus in Hamakua. A New Years 2016 storm knocked down between 50 percent and 60 percent of the trees here. The farms were also ravaged by drought, fires and other wind storms over the years. In addition, Pahala is far from any factory to use the wood and far from the Hilo port for export,  making transportation expensive.
     The quality of the wood and the expenses made it undesirable to sell to anyone but a local consumer which turned out to be a company wanting to burn it for electricity. Cambium said in its annual report, released July 27, that it was shutting down its Big Island operations.
     According to the plan recently approved by the Public Utilities Commission, the Hū Honua plant could be completed in 2018, when the first eucalyptus harvest would be needed to make electricity for Hawai`i Electric Light Co.

Pick up the August edition of The Ka`u Calendar delivered
free to 5,500 mailboxes throughout Ka`u, from Miloli`i 
through Volcano. Also available on stands throughout
the district. See it online at www.kaucalendar.com
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Ham Radio Operators Potluck Picnic, Sun, Aug 6, Manukā Park. All American Radio Emergency Service members, anyone interested in learning how to operate a ham radio and families are invited to attend. Dennis Smith, 989-3028.

Palm Trail, Sun, Aug 6, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traverses scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.

Painting with Peggy, Mon, Aug 7 & 21, 12 p.m., Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village. An ongoing series of acrylic workshops for all levels. $20. 967-8222

Volunteer Fire Department Meeting, Mon, Aug 7, 4 p.m., Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033

Haku Hulu, Wed, Aug 9, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Local practitioner Pilialoha Johnson introduces the ancient Hawaiian skill of featherwork. Free; park entrance fees apply.

Backpack Name Tags, Wed, Aug 9, 3:30 – 5 p.m., Pāhala Community Center. Grades K – 8 register Aug 1 – 8. 928-0312