NASF Forest Health Committee meets in Hawaii

Hosted by Hawaii State Forester David Smith and the Hawaii Department of Forestry, members of the NASF Forest Science and Health (FS&H) Committee, staffed by Bob Simpson, held their Annual Partners and Stakeholders Meeting on the island of Hawaii in Waikoloa Village.

O’hia tree blossoms.

This annual meeting consists of three segments: the FS&H Committee Business Meeting, the Partners and Stakeholders Meeting, and on the final day, a field tour.

The first day’s business meeting was convened by committee chair and Connecticut State Forester Chris Martin. The agenda included discussion on the committee’s work plan and progress-made-to-date on its objectives, a Comprehensive USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection (FHP) Review being undertaken by a FS&H Committee Work Group, the impacts of potential USDA APHIS emerald ash borer (EAB) deregulation, future US forest research needs, and review of the FS&H Committee’s congressional forest health briefing held earlier in May.

Dr. JB Friday with the University of Hawaii – Forestry Extension discusses detection and isolation of ROD invasive and vector.

On Day 2, Chairman Martin convened the Partners and Stakeholders Meeting. This day-long event allows stakeholder groups in US forest health, forest research, and international forest policy to come together and present updates and important activities occurring within their organizations of importance to NASF members. Perhaps most importantly, this time built into the meeting allows for dialogue between committee members and partner and stakeholder organization representatives. Organizations presenting this year included The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, USFS FHP, USFS Research and Development, USFS Inventory, Monitoring, and Analysis Research, APHIS, The Nature Conservancy, and the Western Aspen Alliance.

Discussion of Hawaii forest restoration project with FS&H Committee members, partners, and stakeholders.

The final day was a field tour hosted by the Hawaii Department of Forestry. The tour focused on Rapid O’hia Death (ROD) caused by a recently introduced invasive having a significant impact on the O’hia tree, a culturally valuable and iconic tree of the Hawaiian Islands. Field tour stops included a visit to a local extinct volcano and tours of a Hawaii experimental tropical forest and forest bird sanctuary. Discussion at the stops highlighted forest restoration, forest history and management, forest protection, and biological security.

Have questions? Contact Communications Director Whitney Forman-Cook at wforman-cook@stateforesters.org.