HILO, Hawaii – A draft environmental assessment has been published for a state plan to commercially harvest timber in the Waiakea Timber Management Area.
The project area is located in the Upper Waiakea, Waiakea and ‘Ola‘a Forest Reserves, and contains 16 million cubic feet of gross merchantable timber; mostly Queensland maple, Eucalyptus, Australian toon, and tropical ash.
The project has been in the planning stages for a while. An environmental assessment was previously prepared in 1999 for similar activities,the state says, resulting in a finding of no significant impact. The new environmental assessment is being done to update the analysis to reflect changes in the surrounding environment over the past fifteen years.
Project activities will include road maintenance, timber harvesting, site preparation, reforestation and other forest management practices for timber stand improvement. Strict adherence to the State’s Best Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality in Hawaii (BMPs) and to the management objective of sustainable, long-term forest plantation productivity will minimize impacts to the physical environment. DLNR DOFAW Waiakea Timber Management Area draft EA
The Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife is proposing the initiative. The division spoke to Hawaii Island State Senator Lorriane Inouye about the plan recently during a briefing at the Capitol.