East Hawaii News

Wlosinski Honored by DLNR for Albizia Efforts

March 3, 2015, 2:00 PM HST
* Updated March 3, 2:02 PM
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Big Island man Rich Wlosinski was one of the many individual and corporate recipients of an Invasive Species Achievement Award presented on Monday at the wrap-up of the annual Hawai’i Invasive Species Awareness Week at the Hawai’i State Capitol.

Individuals were awarded based on their efforts to protect the local environment from invasive species.

Wlosinski, Hawai’i Electric Light’s system forester, has been an exceptional major contributor to the Big Island albizia mitigation plan.

Department of Land and Natural Resources officials say that Wlosinski has contributed numerous hours to assessing the risks and costs involved in albizia hazard removal. He has also assisted in developing strategies for cost-effective methods of controlling hazardous albizia infestations.

In addition to sharing his knowledge and efforts in risk assessment and cost effectiveness, Wlosinski changed the way Hawai’i Electric Light contractors were told to manage albizia trees that were growing along power lines and roads. The change allows for better long-term outcomes.


According to the DLNR, Wlosinski’s input will play a key factor in long term planning that will have a large impact on the albizia issue on the Big Island.


Wlosinski’s strategies have helped to reduce costs for albizia management for a variety of stakeholders, and under his direction, Hawai’i Electric Light will more efficiently use time and resources to carry out those methods.

Hawaiian Airlines was recognized as the 2014 Business Leader, while Charolotte Yamana of Oahu was recognized as a 2014 Community Hero.

Others honored included: Laurie Loomis, 2014 Community Hero Honorable Mention; Carmel Partners and Island Topsoil, 2014 Greatest Hit; Rick Yamamoto of Hawai’i Air National Guard, The Hottest Hotline Report; DOA Plant Quarantine Inspectors, Maui Nui MVP; CRB Response Team, Oahu MVP; and Michelle Clark of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Kauai MVP.


Christy Martin, director of the State Coordinating Group on Alien Plant Species, received the National Invasive Species Achievement Award. She was presented with the honor at the United States Department of Interior in Washington on Feb. 25.

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