Hawai'i State News

Watersheds topic of upcoming Waimea Community Association Town Meeting

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The environmental, cultural and practical health of Waimea on the Big Island’s watersheds including protection, restoration and invasive species management will top the Waimea Community Association’s Town Meeting on June 6.

The meeting will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the conference room of the W.M. Keck Observatory on Māmalahoa Highway in Kamuela.

Five local partners will share their priorities, achievements and concerns related to ensuring healthy watersheds in the region and across the Big Island.

“Healthy watersheds are generationally important critical habitats for many reasons including the way they replenish surface and groundwater for agriculture and potable use,” said Waimea Community Association President Nancy Carr Smith.

Topics surrounding local watersheds will be spotlighted during the June 6 town meeting. Photo Courtesy: WCA

The meeting will provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about reforestation and protection efforts taking place in their district, according to Carr Smith.


As always, the entire community is welcome to the Waimea Community Association Town Meeting either in person or virtually via the Waimea Community Association’s Facebook page or YouTube channel. The meeting will also be recorded and made available on Facebook and YouTube for later viewing.

Questions will be welcome – preferably in advance by emailing WaimeaCommunityAssociation@gmail.com. Questions may also be typed into the Facebook chat and will be addressed as time permits.

Leading off the discussion will be Nick Agorastos, a natural resources management specialist and program manager with the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Agorastos is responsible for managing and protecting the Big Island’s islandwide Natural Area Reserve System. He will discuss state projects in the area, challenges and opportunities, and the state tree nursery in Lālāmilo.


Zachary Judd, a forester with Parker Ranch, will share the ranch’s management plan in terms of reforestation; increase of the ranch’s forestry footprint; invasive species control; and helping to build a forestry economy while balancing the need for trees and productivity of the land.

Mahina Patterson, who coordinates the Kohala Watershed Partnership, will then discuss its stewardship of Kohala watershed areas, and share what that kuleana (responsibility) looks like.

The Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project will be addressed by Kassandra Talamatez, a restoration technician for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife initiative. She will explain the project’s focus on protecting the palila bird, a critically endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper.

Born from the Richard Smart Funds’ emerging Waimea Community Weaving Hui, the Third Spaces prototype hui “planted” by Keali’i Thoene and other Waimea community volunteers will be introduced.


Waimea Community Association Town Meetings always include a brief public safety update by South Kohala community policing officers and a presentation by a community nonprofit organization. June is Pride Month, so the Waimea Community Association’s spotlighted nonprofit will be Equality Hawai’i with presenter Mark Gordon.

For more info about the meeting or the Waimea Community Association, email President Nancy Carr Smith at WaimeaCommunityAssociation@gmail.com or go to www.WaimeaTown.org.

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