Partnership intended to restore koa

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods have formed a partnership to further restore Hawaii’s koa forests and assist other native forests across the state.

“The continued degradation of this monarch tree, with no replanting, has diminished our koa forests and the quality of other native forest species that depend on the koa,” said Ted Clement, the land trust’s executive director. “This partnership seeks to address both of those concerns.”

Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods Chief Executive Officer Jeff Dunster said that the company operates on both a conservation model and a commercial one. Donors can participate in a Legacy Tree program, which stipulates that the trees are never harvested and become part of a new permanent Hawaiian forest. Participants in the forest investment program finance the planting of trees that will eventually be logged, providing a return on their investment, a release said.

The Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is participating in the Legacy Tree component, in which participants pay $60 for each tree planted. Of that sum, a minimum of $1 goes to the land trust and $20 to the charity of the donor’s choice. Donors may elect the land trust to be the recipient of the $20 charitable contribution as well, the release said.

With each tree planted an electronic chip is placed in the ground that will have the serial number of the tree and track the life cycle of the tree, including its health records and the name of the tree sponsor and other information.

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