East Hawaii News

Volunteers Needed for ‘Malama Maunakea’ Campaign

February 26, 2014, 6:21 PM HST
* Updated February 27, 12:31 PM
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The Office of Mauna Kea Management is calling for volunteers to assist in its efforts to control invasive weeds on the mountain.

Participants in the “Malama Maunakea” campaign focus primarily on eradicating fireweed. The drought-resistant plant is toxic to cattle and has invaded hundreds of thousands of acres on the Big Island and Maui.

The Saturday efforts concentrate on pulling fireweed along the Mauna Kea Access road and around Hale Pohaku at the 9,200-foot elevation.

The weeding helps keep the species from being transported to the upper elevations of Mauna Kea which reduces habitat for invasive insects, OMKM officials said.

Volunteers are currently needed for April 19, June 7 and July 26.

The invasive fireweed plant. UH photo.

The invasive fireweed plant. UH photo.

Last year, 236 participants working over seven Saturdays filled 363 garbage bags with invasive weeds, officials said. They also planted 200 Mauna Kea silverswords.

The office provides transportation to the mountain for Hilo-based volunteers and coordinates ride-sharing for those from West Hawaii.

For information or to volunteer, contact OMKM Natural Resource Program Manager Fritz Klasner at 808-933-3194 or [email protected].

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