News

ROD Talk on WCA Town Meeting Agenda

May 2, 2016, 4:32 PM HST
* Updated May 2, 4:21 PM
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University of Hawai'i photo.

University of Hawai’i photo.

The Waimea Community Association will host a Town Meeting at the Waimea School Cafeteria on Thursday, May 5, with a focus on Rapid Ohia Death.

Ohia trees hold an importance to the community not only culturally, but ecologically as an important member of the native watershed. ROD is decimating the trees, already infecting over 30,000 acres on the Big Island.

WCA seeks to bring community members together to learn about ROD and what the community can do to help prevent the spread into the North Hawai’i watershed.

In addition, WCA will also conduct a briefing on the creation of a community-owned cooperative to provide electrical power for the island.

Speakers at the meeting will include Dr. Flint Hughes, Research Ecologist with the United States Forest Service. Dr. Hughes will share the latest research, policy decisions, and recommendations to control the spread of ROD.  He will also address specific strategies for the North Hawai’i community to become meaningful “protectors of the Kohala forest” which, to date, does not appear to have been infected by ROD.

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Richard Ha will also speak at the meeting. He will brief the community on the newly formed Hawai’i Island Energy Cooperative, which is a community-driven effort to explore opportunities to establish a consumer owned utility for the Big Island. HIEC has a local board of directors that is working with Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and more than 900 other cooperatives across the United States to explore in-depth the possibilities and be ready to act quickly with the intellectual capital and financial resources when and if opportunities present themselves.

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Waimea County Council members Valerie Poindexter and Margaret Willie will also be present to update Council business.

The meeting begins at 5:15 p.m. and the entire community is invited. Attendees are encouraged to contribute to the Waimea food pantry.

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