“Over 1500 years ago, the native rainforests of East Maui greeted the first Hawaiians. The streams provided fresh water, the forest gave wood for hale and canoes, and plants, animals and fish were gathered for food and medicine. The watershed was alive with many different species of unique wildlife that held both aesthetic and practical value.”
“Today, the watershed is still our source of life. However, since the times of human contact, the extent of our native forest has been reduced by more than 50 percent. Many of the plants and animals that were only found in East Maui no longer exist. As the forest is lost, so are the benefits it provides- fresh water, biodiversity, and the roots of native Hawaiian culture.”
East Maui Watershed Partnership was created in 1991. In a “voluntary effort among federal, state, and private land owners to preserve and protect the 100,000-acre watershed on the windward slopes of Haleakala. The partnership was created in response to the need for large-scale mauka-based protection”. The common goal among the members of the partnership have is to protect the East Maui Watershed from degradation.
“The single greatest threat to the watershed is the destruction caused by non-native species. Weeds crowd out native plants; wild ungulates (pigs, goats, cattle, deer) eat seedlings, trample soil, and accelerate erosion. Our native birds populations dwindle because of mosquito borne disease.”
East Maui Watershed Partnership watershed management programs include:
”Invasive species control: protecting areas are regularly monitored for invasive plants and animals.
“Outreach: we have our own watershed education program and conduct school visits, hold information tables and participate in community events”.
“Hunting; access for local hunter groups increased via the formation of EMWP”.