Beautiful Lanai has been a favorite vacation spot for my husband and I. We love the secluded feeling when playing golf at Koele, surrounded by tropical forest and Norfolk pines.
On Aug. 11, we noticed multiple majestic pines and other trees marked with red plastic bands to be cut down. They were not in the way of a potential view. The beautiful Norfolk pine grove was clear cut two days later. Tree cutting continued throughout our round. Looking up the signature hole No. 17, the top of the hill was newly clear cut, leaving behind a clay red earth that will erode with rain. We were dismayed and sickened by the sight and sought an explanation.
Although most staff was unaware of the destruction, the Lodge management told me that Larry Ellison's dream is to remove all the non-native species on the entire island and replace with native ones.
Does this mean that all Norfolk and Cook pines will be exterminated? Even though they are not native to Lanai, they have not only become a signature of the skyline but are also a source of freshwater on the island.
This explanation could mean the senseless devastation of the Lanai current ecosystem, beauty and charm. The explanation I received makes little sense. And what my eyes have seen leaves me heartbroken.
I implore the people who love Lanai to stop this senseless eradication.