Volunteers sought for Haleakala task

Volunteers are being sought for pine-tree pulling Saturday in the Haleakala National Park Summit District.

Young invasive trees will be physically removed, either pulled or sawed down. A fire in the Polipoli area in 2007 spread pine tree seeds into the park and many since have taken root.

Volunteers will be picked up at an Upcountry location at 8:15 a.m. or at Maalaea Harbor at 7:30 a.m., work for two hours, and be dropped off by 1 p.m. They should bring water, snacks and sun protection; wear sturdy shoes; dress in layers; and be prepared to hike on uneven surfaces.

Transportation, training, hand tools, gloves and other equipment will be provided.

Pine tree pullers need to sign up by 2 p.m. Friday; contact Amandine Maury at 572-4487. Space is limited to 10 people.

Three non-native pine species — Monterey pine, Mexican weeping pine and maritime pine — are highly invasive. They displace endemic and endangered species, change soil chemistry and increase the potential for wildfire in habitats not adapted to fire.

Left alone, park officials have said that the Haleakala Crater could be filled with pine trees. Park staff, partners and volunteers periodically pull young pines to keep them from spreading throughout the park.

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