Fred Amidon

Ecologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) Division in Honolulu

Fred Amidon is an ecologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) Division in Honolulu. He has worked in the Pacific Islands for the last 18 years on endangered species conservation issues. Currently, he is the lead ecologist working with SHC team on the delineation of priority areas needed for the conservation of federally listed and candidate plants and animals in Hawaii and the Mariana Islands.

Title: Regional spatial conservation prioritization for federally listed plants in Hawai‘i

Abstract: Of the 874 plants federally listed as threatened or endangered in the United States, almost half of them (418 taxa) occur in the Pacific Islands. Given the limited area available on each island and competing resource uses, identifying and prioritizing areas needed for the recovery of each is challenging, but vital. The increased availability of resource data sets and advances in modeling and optimization algorithms has led to application of regional, large-scale conservation prioritization efforts throughout the world. Here we present current work to develop quantitative and repeatable methods to prioritize landscape scale areas for the conservation of federally listed plants in Hawai‘i. When used in conjunction with expert knowledge of species and landscapes, these tools can help guide restoration, management, and recovery efforts by prioritizing areas for conservation in the context of range-wide habitat needs.

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Jane Beachy

Ecosystem Restoration Program Manager for the Oʻahu Army Natural Resources Program

Jane Beachy is the Ecosystem Restoration Program Manager for the Oʻahu Army Natural Resources Program, where she has worked for the past thirteen years. She oversees invasive plant management and ecosystem restoration actions for the program. These include weed surveys, incipient species control efforts, rare taxa habitat improvement efforts, landscape weed control, common native plantings, and development of novel weed control techniques.

Title: Rare Taxa Management: Habitat Restoration And Weed Control Issues

  • How does a manager identify the habitat requirements of a particular rare plant taxon when developing a restoration strategy? (Ie, associated species, light levels, topography, etc.)
  • How do you evaluate the threat posed by alien plants to rare plants and their habitat? Identify useful ways to prioritize weed control efforts.
  • What are the pros and cons of manual and chemical weed control techniques? Can conducting weed control harm native plants?
  • When is a strategy of gradual weed removal needed, and when is more aggressive weed clear-cutting needed?
  • What level of commitment is required to conduct habitat restoration? What are optimal re-visitation intervals?
  • How can weed control and common native outplantings be used to complement each other?

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Susan Ching

O‘ahu Coordinator for the Plant Extinction Prevention Program

Bio: Susan Ching received a M.S. in Botanical Sciences from the University of Hawai‘i and has been studying and working with rare Hawaiian plants for over 14 years. She is currently the O‘ahu Coordinator for the Plant Extinction Prevention Program. The PEP Program works to preserve Hawai‘i’s rarest plant species through monitoring and managing threats to wild plants, collecting propagules for species conservation and establishing new populations, and surveying for new wild plants/populations.

Title: rare plant population reference codes, how they work, and what are some of the broader conservation implications to tracking individual plants and populations with precision.

Working Group Questions:

  1. What are pop ref codes and how are they used?
  2. How are the population reference codes assigned?
  3. How is a population defined for this application?
  4. What are the benefits to tracking individual plants within a population? When is it appropriate? When is it not?
  5. What methods in situ and ex situ are used in tracking wild and outplanted individuals/populations?
    a. In situ tools? - tags, string, flagging, bird bands, sketch maps?
    b. Back at the office - gps, database, HRPRG forms.
  6. How do you manage data from a biological population that spans different geographically defined population reference codes?
  7. What are the broad conservation implications to managing rare species in this way?

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Colleen Cole

Coordinator of the Three Mountain Alliance (TMA) watershed partnership

Colleen Cole is the Coordinator of the Three Mountain Alliance (TMA) watershed partnership. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she graduated from the University of Arizona in 1996 with a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. Since graduating college, Colleen worked on seasonal forest bird and seabird projects in Alaska, California and Hawai‘i. She returned to Hawai‘i full time in 1999 and worked for several conservation-focused programs including the Palila Restoration Project, the U.S. Forest Service Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry, and the Hawai‘i Island DOFAW-NARS program. She took over coordination of the Three Mountain Alliance watershed partnership in 2009. She directs management activities for TMA including fencing, weed control, restoration, and environmental education. She is also the current Chair of the Hawai‘i Association of Watershed Partnerships.

Title: Growing a Kipuka

Abstract: The Three Mountain Alliance (TMA) is the largest watershed partnership in the state with covered lands totaling more than 1 million acres on Hawai‘i Island. In addition to fencing, ungulate control, and weed control; ecosystem restoration is a priority management action for TMA. In 2007, TMA began a planting program in degraded forest that had been converted to pasture at the former Keauhou Ranch, owned by Kamehameha Schools. The primary restoration site was immediately adjacent to Kipuka Puaulu in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Our goal was to “grow” the forested kipuka up the mountain. Seven years later, nearly 4,000 volunteers planted over 33,000 native seedlings. We expanded the initial 9-acre planting site to 25 acres and we have plans to restore a larger 200- acre block in the next ten years. The restoration efforts at Keauhou involve multiple landowners and agencies working together to restore the ecosystem at a landscape scale. We hope to duplicate and scale-up this model of restoration and collaboration as we initiate other large-scale restoration projects across the TMA management area.

Working Group Questions

  1. How do you scale up restoration practices? How can we move from volunteer driven individual plantings a couple acres at a time to a larger landscape (>1,000 acres)?
  2. How do you do large-scale restoration in remote areas? How to maximize time, water, planting, and monitoring?
  3. How do you restore degraded forest with no understory and rocky, young substrate? What are the options for fast growing, drought tolerant species that will provide suitable habitat for future plantings?

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Don Drake

Professor of Botany at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Don is an ecologist who has been working in Hawaiʻi, Tonga, and New Zealand since 1987. He is broadly interested in ecology and conservation on islands. Most of his recent work has focused on understanding how changes in island faunas have affected reproduction of island plants. He serves as a member of the editorial board for Conservation Biology, and Biotropica.

Title: Why We Need Research On The Reproductive Ecology Of Hawaiian Plants

Abstract: Animals are directly involved in the reproduction of most tropical plants, either as pollinators, seed dispersers, and/or seed predators. We often take for granted that we know what kinds of roles animals play, e.g., it is dogma that honeycreepers are pollinators and rodents are seed predators. Yet nature is rarely that simple. Examples will be presented of detailed studies demonstrating that animals play a diverse and unpredictable range of roles in plant reproduction. This is especially true on remote islands where many native animals are rare or extinct and introduced animals are forming novel interactions with native plants. In order to understand why Hawaiian plants are reproducing—or failing to reproduce—in the wild, researchers need to gather detailed data on individual plant species to determine whether specific animals are either facilitating or inhibiting reproduction, or whether a key interaction is not taking place at all. This knowledge should allow managers to target appropriate situations in which to intervene to enhance plant reproduction.

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Ed Guerrant

Director of the Rae Selling Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program in the Department of Environmental Science and Management at Portland State University

Ed Guerrant is the Director of the Rae Selling Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program in the Department of Environmental Science and Management at Portland State University (PSU: seedbank.pdx.edu). Before moving the program to PSU in 2011, Ed had been the Conservation Director, and Curator of the Berry Botanic Garden Seed Bank for Rare and Endangered Plants of the Pacific Northwest Conservation at the Berry Botanic Garden, from 1989 to when it closed in 2010.

October 9th Presentation Title: Sampling for Effective Ex Situ Plant Conservation

Abstract: Conserving the biodiversity, which we inherited in such exuberant profusion, for future generations is among the greatest challenges we face. Perhaps nowhere else is the threat more acute than to the native flora of Hawaii, and few if any floras are as distinctive and isolated than in Hawaii. With roughly half the flora recognized as being of conservation interest, many if not most of the more common taxa are, at least by mainland standards, highly vulnerable.

Prioritizing taxa for conservation efforts is a complex, multifaceted undertaking, which often reflects underlying value systems. Choices have been based on many criteria, including rarity, ecological roles, life history and so on. Relatively little attention, however, has been devoted to defining what constitutes a phylogenetically representative sample. The purpose of this talk is to explore some possible ways that knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships can be used as a context within which to evaluate conservation collections and efforts.

Given the uniqueness of the Hawaiian flora, its high degree of extreme rarity and endangerment, and the great and increasing threats, it may be wise for conservationists to consider the flora as a whole, while there is still time to act. How well do taxa of conservation importance represent the overall diversity of native Hawaiian plants, or are some more inclusive groups (e.g. families, orders) over or under represented? To begin, how well do rare plants represent the phylogenetic diversity of the Hawaiian Flora, and how well do the ex situ samples that exist represent the species of conservation importance? These and other questions will be explored in light of our current understanding of the phylogenetic relationships of the various families of native Hawaiian plants.

October 10th Working Groups

1:00pm: Sampling for Effective Ex Situ Plant Conservation

Is it appropriate to make publicly available the general distribution of plant localities, and ex situ sample source populations, and if so, at what resolution to the general public, and at what resolution to those with a legitimate reason to know more detail? What are the pros and cons of making this sort of information widely available?

3:00pm: Designing Populations: Demographic, Genetic and Horticultural Dimensions

This working group will use the chapter ‘Designing populations: Demographic, genetic, and horticultural dimensions’ from the second Center for Plant Conservation book, Restoring Diversity: Strategies for reintroduction of endangered plants (Island Press, Pages 171-207) as a basis for considering practical aspects of reintroduction.

Guerrant, EO. Jr. 1996. Designing populations: Demographic, genetic, and horticultural dimensions. Pages171-207 In. DA Falk, CI Millar and M Olwell (Eds.). Restoring Diversity: Strategies for Reintroduction of Endangered Species. Island Press, Covelo.

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James A. Harmon

State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW)
Native Ecosystem Protection & Management (NEPM) program & data assistant

James Harmon is a recent addition to the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW) as the Native Ecosystem Protection & Management (NEPM) program & data assistant. He works with Natural Area Reserves System (NARS) staff to maintain and develop management activities to preserve and manage Oahu’s Natural Area Reserves. Additionally, James works as a research liaison for DOFAW NARS, facilitating access to Forest Reserves and Natural Area Reserves for research purposes. As a graduate of UH Manoa’s Tropical Plant and Soil Science MS program, James draws from a variety of experiences including improving food security in Micronesia and improving soil water conservation techniques in West Africa to aid in his contributions to natural resource management on Oahu.

Title: Native Plant, Soil & Microorganism Interactions

Abstract: An open discussion on the topic of the relationships between Soil, Native Plants and Soil Microorganisms. The discussion will also focus on how the understanding of the fundamentals of soil science (pH, nutrients, mineralogy, & soil type) can affect plant and microorganism interactions, and how the current research in these fields can be applied improving native plant management practices and strategies in Hawai‘i.

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Jim Jacobi

Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

Jim Jacobi is a Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center. He has been conducting research in Hawai‘i for over forty years with primary emphasis on studying the ecology and status of native plant and bird species and communities, as well the impacts of invasive species on these ecosystems. A major focus of his research has been mapping and modeling the distribution of plant communities throughout the Islands and using these maps to help prioritize and assess the efficacy of conservation efforts across the landscape.

Title: How do you know you are being effective with conservation management actions?

Abstract: Conservation actions are usually fueled by high levels of motivation and enthusiastic energy, with internal management capacity supplemented strongly through volunteer programs. But how do you know if the overall outcome of these efforts results in effective conservation? It is critically important to integrate an efficient monitoring component into conservation management, focusing at scales ranging from the individual organism to the ecosystem at a landscape scale. Often we need to use output metrics (e.g., miles of fence constructed, number of weed plants killed, etc.) to measure progress. While these are important for evaluating initial progress, overall effectiveness of a management program ultimately requires an assessment of the response of outcome targets – increase or stabilization of variables such as vegetation structure, species diversity, native species dominance vs. invasive species, forest bird populations, etc. In this presentation and subsequent working group sessions I will discuss a framework for conservation monitoring which includes developing species and ecosystem targets, monitoring strategies at different scales, and ways to evaluate what management components are working and what are not.

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Kapua Kawelo

Biologist for the O‘ahu Army Natural Resources Program, U.S. Army Garrison, Hawai‘i

Kapua Kawelo is a Biologist for the O‘ahu Army Natural Resources Program, U.S. Army Garrison, Hawai‘i, where she has worked for 20 years. Kapua graduated from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Botany. When Kapua began working with the Natural Resource Program, she was one of only 4 staff, currently there are 50+ staff. This program works in the Waianae and Ko‘olau Mountains conserving many endangered native Hawaiian plants and animals and the native forests upon which they depend.

Title: Monitoring Protocols and Hawai‘i Rare Plant Restoration Group Monitoring Forms

Abstract: Since the late 1980’s, the Hawai‘i Rare Plant Restoration Group (HRPRG) has worked to develop effective methods to recover rare plant species, recognizing the need for ex situ (off-site) plant propagation facilities, and subsequently developing rare plant nurseries on all the main islands. One of the many needs identified in rare plant conservation included protocols for collecting, monitoring, and reintroducing plants. The HRPRG rare plant background data form and the rare plant field data form provide a structured method of collecting data on rare plants. The U.S. Army Garrison Hawai‘i has expanded this effort through the development of a database to house the data collected and allow the generation of reports on population status and management needs. In addition, through years of using these forms, the Army has identified what works well and what needs tweaking on these forms and in the protocols to make them more efficient and effective.

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Matt Keir

Rare Plant Program Manager for the Oʻahu Army Natural Resources Program

Matt Keir is the Rare Plant Program Manager for the Oʻahu Army Natural Resources Program, where he has worked for the past 16 years. He oversees a staff of six who maintain ex situ collections and all propagation needs for the program. He also coordinates field monitoring and collections and reintroductions and other outplantings.

Title: Propagule Selection for Ex Situ Storage Strategies of Rare Plants

Abstract: As Hawaiʻi’s native plant populations and habitats continue to dwindle in size, creating and maintaining viable ex situ collections is one of the first steps towards preventing species extinctions, especially when suitable native habitats are not immediately available for restoration and recovery efforts. Propagules from plants of wild populations can include fruits and seeds, cuttings, air layers, divisions, and whole plants. These propagules can be kept in seed banks, tissue culture and cryopreservation facilities, nurseries, and/or botanical gardens. Hawaiʻi currently has access and utilizes all of these ex situ methods, but it can be difficult to determine what propagules to collect and place into what facility. Plants producing seeds that can be stored using conventional methods should be placed in seed banks, as seed banking is the cheapest form of ex situ storage and captures more genetic variation than clonal propagules. Cryopreservation (once protocols are established) and tissue culture are the next most cost-efficient methods of ex situ storage, and can be utilized for mature and immature seeds, seeds that are sensitive to drying and therefore cannot be stored conventionally, and also clones. Cuttings, airlayers, and divisions can also go directly to nurseries when seeds are not available. Lastly, large plants that are not easily maintained in nurseries can be planted at botanical gardens. In some instances, it may be necessary to establish clonal living collections in nurseries and botanical gardens in order to hand-pollinate plants to produce seeds for storage.

Working Group Questions:

  1. What are the species characteristics or circumstances where each ex situ type is preferred?
  2. What are the strengths & weaknesses of different ex situ methods?
  3. Are there ex situ methods that are appropriate for certain taxa?
  4. When is controlled breeding necessary to maintain or strengthen collections?
  5. Which species have been collected but have never been successfully established ex situ?
  6. When should you forego ex situ storage in favor of immediate propagation?

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Jill C. Laughlin

Education & Outreach Programs Manager, Lyon Arboretum, University of Hawaiʻi – Mānoa

Community Outreach and Education Programs including: Program design, curriculum development, coordination and implementation for PK-12 school programs, teacher workshops. Work with UH faculty to support University of Hawaiʻi academic programs, research and student learning at the Arboretum. Coordinate the Arboretum’s internship programs for university students. Supervise the Arboretum’s children’s garden, manage and instruct adult and children’s non-credit education program, recruit, train and manage Lyon Arboretum interpretive guides. Grant writing for education and interpretive program support, capacity building, and conservation programs at Lyon Arboretum. Manage the Lyon Arboretum’s volunteer program.

Title: Transformative Tools for Conservation Volunteer Programs

Abstract: Natural resource managers and conservation project managers are primarily charged with the task of saving, conserving or restoring plants, animals and ecosystems. Critically important conservation goals focus on environmental problems, but long range solutions depend on people. Successful volunteer managers can provide opportunities that create an informed community, build understanding and consensus for conservation efforts, foster the ethic of mālama ʻāina (to care for and protect the land), and connect people to the mission and vision of an organization. By providing transformative learning opportunities and meaningful experiences for your volunteers, you can not only accomplish the task at hand, but you can create a culture of long range support for conservation.

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Rhonda Loh

Chief of Natural Resources Management at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Rhonda began her career in conservation biology volunteering with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 1989. As Vegetation Program Manager from 1998-2006, she directed programs dealing with management of disruptive invasive weeds, recovery of federally listed native plant species, fire ecology, habitat restoration, and vegetation mapping. She currently oversees research and management of natural resources in the park. She is a certified faculty member in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) graduate program at the University of Hawai‘i-Hilo. In 2004 she received the National park Service Pacific West Regional Director’s Resources Management Award, and in 2009 the Department of Interior Partners in Conservation Award.

Title: Scaling Up- Approaches to landscape restoration at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Abstract: Since its establishment in 1916, various attempts were made to protect the rich biological resources in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The success of these early efforts was widely variable, site-specific, and seldom long-lasting. Beginning in the 1970s, park staff adopted a systematic parkwide approach to managing species and habitats which continues today. This begins with the construction of boundary and internal fences to exclude feral and wild ungulates, followed by prioritization of high valued habitats, known as Special Ecological Areas, or SEAs. These SEAs are the focus of intensive weed management, reforestation, rare species reintroduction, research and visitor interpretation. Outside the SEAs, weeds are either eradicated (if infestations are small) or contained (a strategy that is both expensive and seldom achievable). In more highly altered ecosystems, park staff focus on rehabilitation rather than restoration of the area, and work on the assumption that key invasive species and associated alterations in ecosystem function may persist on the landscape for a long time if not indefinitely. In many cases, species-specific recovery efforts rely on these landscape level strategies being in place. Among the current emphasis of the park is to work with adjacent land managers, such as members of the Three Mountain Alliance Watershed Partnership, to expand landscape restoration efforts.

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Joyce Maschinski

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Kushlan Tropical Science Institute

Dr. Joyce Maschinski is the Conservation Ecologist leading the South Florida conservation program at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Conservation Officer for the Center for Plant Conservation and adjunct faculty member at Florida International University, University of Miami, and Northern Arizona University. For two decades her research interests have centered on understanding factors that limit reproduction, growth and expansion of rare plant populations, the impact of human activities, and potential management solutions for their conservation. She and colleagues at Fairchild and at The Arboretum at Flagstaff have conducted over 85 rare plant reintroductions of 25 species. Thus, she has both practical knowledge of the topic of plant reintroduction in arid and tropical regions, but also has a sound theoretical foundation for her conservation research. She has published widely about plant reintroductions and threats to rare plants, including demographic, genetics, hybridization, herbivory, habitat destruction, timber harvest, trampling, climate change and fire. With K.E. Haskins, she co-edited the recent publication Plant Reintroduction in a Changing Climate: Promises and Perils by Island Press.

Title: Center for Plant Conservation Best Reintroduction Practice Guidelines

Abstract: Biodiversity in Hawai‘i is gravely threatened. The emerging impacts of climate change forebode unprecedented risk and rates of endangerment. Considered an essential worldwide conservation tool, plant reintroductions hold much promise for future conservation efforts for many rare plant species when carefully planned following guidelines and when monitored long-term. I review the Center for Plant Conservation Best Reintroduction Practice Guidelines recently published in the new book Plant Reintroduction in a Changing Climate: Promises and Perils by Island Press, Washington DC. I summarize important components for planning traditional plant reintroductions. In addition I discuss controversial assisted migration options. I contrast traditional and controversial options for one U.S. endangered species that has recently experienced serious population decline. Considering the species characteristics and habitat needs, I evaluate options giving special emphasis to perceptions of ecological risk and safety from climate-change related threats. These guidelines are intended to improve the probability of reintroduction success throughout the world. Conducting reintroductions as experiments continues to be an important component of strengthening the science of reintroduction. To illustrate this, I give examples of some surprising exceptions to accepted paradigms that have emerged from recent studies.

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Cliff Morden

Professor of Botany and Deputy Director of the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawai‘i

Cliff Morden is a botanist and has conducted research on the Hawaiian flora for 22 years. Emphasis of his research is evolution of the flora, processes of speciation and population diversification, biogeography, and genetic diversity and connectivity of populations. A major focus has been examining diversity within and among populations of rare and endangered species throughout the islands, and comparing this diversity to more common congeners.

Title: Population Genetics Among Hawaiian Species: Lessons Learned

Abstract: A common concern when assessing strategies for the recovery of endangered species, especially those reduced to small and isolated populations, is if there is remaining genetic variation within the species, or within populations of a species, to provide long-term sustainability. The knee-jerk reaction is that more variation is going to be better. But, is this really the case? The amount of variation that is present within populations is determined by a wide array of factors including population size, breeding system, and levels of gene flow among populations. The affects that these can have on the potential regeneration of a population can be very different from species to species. Here, outcomes of genetic studies on Hawaiian rare and common species will be assessed to determine underlying themes that may be determined, and if traits among these species may allow for predicting genetic characteristics of populations. Ultimately, conducting genetic studies is the best way to determine these relationships. However, when managing a plethora of species and with a limited budget, this may allow managers to buy time until more deliberate actions can be taken.

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Doug Okamoto

State Horticulturist at the Pahole Rare Plant Facility

Doug earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Horticulture from the University of Hawai‘i. He is the State Horticulturist at the Pahole Rare Plant Facility where he has grown native plants for the past eleven years.

Title: Native Plant Propagation

Abstract: An integral part of native habitat restoration is the ability to propagate native plants. We will discuss various aspects of the collection and handling of propagules in the field and their transport to a propagation facility, and the various techniques utilized to propagate and store them. Propagule health and vigor and its influence on the propagation of a particular individual will also be considered, with some alternate strategies for individuals in declining health. We will also discuss some successes and some failures that we have experienced at the Pahole Rare Plant Facility.

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Hank Oppenheimer

Maui Nui Coordinator for the Plant Extinction Prevention Program

Hank Oppenheimer is the Maui Nui Coordinator for the Plant Extinction Prevention Program. He has held this position since January 2006. The PEP Program works with conservation partners to prevent the extinction of Hawai‘i’s rarest plants by managing plants in situ, collecting propagules for storage and propagation, and creating new self-sustaining populations.

Title: Plant Conservation in Hawai‘i – Lessons Learned

Abstract: Hawai‘i has over 200 vascular plant taxa with less than 50 wild individuals remaining. It is through collaborative efforts between federal, state, county, NGOs, private landowners, Watershed Partnerships and concerned individuals that we have begun to reverse the trend of plant extinction. This presentation discusses how plant conservation has evolved and matured in Hawai‘i and the lessons that we have learned along the way. It is the culmination of these experiences which has led to the development of the Plant Extinction Prevention Program, where a multi-pronged approach, including but not limited to in situ management to mitigate threats, surveying for new individuals and populations, propagule collection for short and long term storage, as well as propagation for restoration outplanting, and reintroduction into secure, appropriate habitat has been adopted and implemented.

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Rob Robichaux

University Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
Founder and President, Board of Trustees, of the Hawaiian Silversword Foundation

Title: Highly Collaborative, Large-scale Endangered Plant Reintroduction on Hawai’i Island and Its Link to Ecosystem Restoration

Abstract: Focusing on species in the endemic silversword and lobeliad lineages as examples, I discuss our highly collaborative, large-scale endangered plant reintroduction efforts on Hawai‘i Island. I also discuss the value of integrating the reintroduction efforts with ongoing ecosystem restoration efforts across large landscapes.

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Irene Sprecher

State Cooperative Management Forester

As the State Cooperative Management Forester, Irene Sprecher over sees a number landowner assistance programs at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, include land management and acquisition programs. She has worked at DOFAW for over 8 years and was recently recognized with the USDA Two Chiefs Award, an award recognizing people and teams that work collaboratively to support conservation and forest stewardship.

Title: Funding landscape restoration

Abstract: So what kind of funding is available for landscape restoration using native plants? Come and find out! Irene Sprecher will share several public and private funding programs that are available. She will get into the nuts and bolts of where to look, how to apply, difficulties, and failures and successes.

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Clay Trauernicht

Specialist in Wildfire Management in the Cooperative Extension Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

Clay Trauernicht is a Specialist in Wildfire Management in the Cooperative Extension Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He also co-coordinates the Pacific Fire Exchange (PacificFireExchange.org), a platform for the development and delivery of science-based information to meet resource manager needs, sponsored by the national Joint Fire Science Program. His expertise lies in the interactions among climate, vegetation and fire behavior and fire effects in tropical forests and grasslands - and how these ecological dynamics can inform resource management and conservation.

Wildfire science and management working group tropics/questions:

  1. Wildfire basics - How, when and where do fires occur in Hawaii? What factors determine fire behavior? What are the effects of fire on native plants? What makes Hawaii’s fire situation unique?
  2. Wildfire risk assessment - What is the ‘fire environment’? What spatial scales need to be considered? How is local knowledge important? What are the available tools?
  3. Pre-fire mitigation - How can planning reduce fire impacts? What are strategies for firebreaks & fuels reductions? How can fire risk reduction be integrated with existing management and conservation goals? What are the benefits of community collaboration and outreach?
  4. Fire suppression perspectives - What is incident command and how can resource managers assist during fires? What are the priorities and limitations of fire response agencies?
  5. Post-fire response - What are strategies for initial, rapid assessment and response? Longer-term rehabilitation? What are fire resistant vs. fire resilient landscapes? What native species traits facilitate recovery?

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Jill Wagner

Forest Restorationist and Horticulturist

Jill Wagner is a forest restorationist and horticulturist. She has degree from the University of Hawai‘i, Hilo in Ethnobotany. She has taught classes and workshops in dry forest restoration, Hawaiian ethnobotany, seed collecting, and propagation. She works as a consultant in forest restoration, silviculture plantation establishment, and grows trees in her nursery; Future Forests Nursery, LLC. She manages the Hawaii Island Native Seed Bank.

Title: Practical Aspects of Restoration – challenges at various sites and how to overcome them

Abstract: Restoration has changed over the past 20 years. People and plants have had to adapt quickly to situations in the environment that have caused significant changes to ecosystem health and plant survival. This talk is a reflection on adaptations that have been made to support individual species and overall forest health on Hawaii Island. Topics include site preparation, irrigation, common species, seed banking, and stake-holder cooperation. Forest restoration requires careful observation and hard work in order to support Hawaii’s ecosystems as they move forward in time.

Discussion topics for 2nd day – about hygiene, irrigation, weed control, collecting seeds. Jill is planning to bring samples of pots that she uses for native plants, irrigation heads, seed collecting sheets, and other
useful field supplies.

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Chipper Wichman

Chief Executive Officer and Director, National Tropical Botanical Garden, United States

Chipper Wichman

Chipper Wichman

For his entire adult life, Chipper has worked to preserve the precious natural and cultural resources of Hawai‘i where he was born and raised. He began work at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) in 1976. In the 1970s he worked with Steve Perlman to conduct botanical surveys of Limahuli valley and the Nā Pali coast where he discovered several new species of plants and helped to pioneer methods of rappelling down cliffs to hand pollinate the species threatened with extinction.

Over the past 38 years, Chipper has held various leadership positions at the NTBG including being director of two of their five gardens before being appointed the Acting Director in 2003. In 2005, Chipper was appointed as the Director and CEO.

Some of Chipper’s many accomplishments include the creation of the award winning Limahuli Garden and Preserve. In 1994, Chipper and his wife Hau‘oli donated this 1,000 acre Limahuli Valley to the NTBG in order to create ahupua‘a-based management program that has been successful in restoring rare plant communities as well as cultural sites and traditional knowledge and practices.

In 1997, Chipper and the NTBG garnered a prestigious award for The Best Natural Botanical Garden from the American Horticultural Society. In 2001, Historic Hawai‘i Foundation honored Chipper with an award for his leadership in developing Limahuli Garden and Preserve as a model project for cultural and biological restoration. In 2007, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) awarded Chipper and Limahuli the prestigious Koa Award for the long-term commitment to perpetuating the natural and culture resources of Hawai‘i.

Starting in 1997, while Chipper continued to develop Limahuli valley as an ahupua‘a-based model for land and resource stewardship in Hawai‘i, he was became the Director of Kahanu Garden in Hana where he worked to develop an award winning Master Plan for the property and oversee the restoration of the massive Pi‘ilanihale Heiau, the largest and one of the most sacred cultural site in all of Hawai‘i.

Over the past decade, as the Director and CEO of the NTBG, Chipper has changed the focus and direction of the whole National Tropical Botanical Garden by developing a new mission statement for NTBG and successfully implemented two five-year strategic plans.

In 2007, the Garden Club of America honored Chipper with its Horticulture Commendation Acknowledgment Award for his dedication to the NTBG and preserving Hawai‘i’s native flora.
In 2008, Chipper was elected as the Chair of the Kauai Watershed Alliance and has continued in that capacity since. The Alliance is a private public partnership that works to implement active watershed management and targets Kauai’s high elevation rain forests as the top priority for protection.

In 2008, Chipper also successfully completed a $15 million capital campaign to build a new 21,000 square foot LEED Gold botanical research center which was the first LEED certified green building built on Kaua‘i.

In 2008, Chipper was also honored by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation with their prestigious Ho‘okele Award for his leadership in the nonprofit sector.

In 2009, Chipper was appointed by the Governor to the Kokee and Waimea Canyon State Park Advisory Council. He has served in that capacity since then and is currently the Chair of a Permitted Interaction Group that is finalizing a long-range master plan for Koke‘e and Waimea Canyon State Parks with the Division of State Parks.

In 2011, Chipper led a small delegation from Hawai‘i to Saint Louis Missouri to participate in meetings hosted by the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on developing the updated targets for the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

In 2012, Chipper led a delegation of 40 people from Hawai‘i to Jeju, Korea to participate in the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress with the goal of garnering support to bring the next WCC to Hawai‘i in 2016. That same year he also represented Hawai‘i along with DLNR Chair William Aila at the United Nation’s meetings on the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Hyderabad, India.

In 2013, Chipper completed a seven year process to establish the Lawai Kai Special Subzone which will protect the unique natural and cultural resources of the Lawai valley. In August of 2013, Governor Abercrombie was hosted by Chipper at Lawai Kai to celebrate this unprecedented accomplishment.

In July 2013, Chipper received the Outstanding Leadership award from the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance for leading a delegation of 40 people from Hawai‘i to the IUNC World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea with the goal of bringing the 2016 WCC to Hawai‘i.

Looking beyond Hawai‘i, Chipper is now working on creating a World Center for Tropical Botany at The Kampong (NTBG’s garden in south Florida) through a partnership with Florida International University, and to launch a multi-national biodiversity assessment project in the Solomon Islands one of the most rugged and bio-diverse parts of the Pacific.

Chipper has been able to accomplish all of this thanks to the steadfast support from his wife Hau‘oli who serves as his Executive Assistant. They have two adult children - their son Imipono is 29 and a landscape designer working for PBR Hawai‘i and their daughter Mikioi is 27 and just completed a masters degree in education at the University of Hawai‘i and is teaching full time at Manoa Elementary School.

April 2014

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Lauren Weisenberger

Oʻahu Army Natural Resources Program as a Propagule Management Specialist

Lauren works for the Oʻahu Army Natural Resources Program as a Propagule Management Specialist for the last 11 years. She manages their seed bank and oversees fruit collections, seed propagation and storage, and use of ex situ collections for reintroductions.

Title: Considerations for In Situ Harvesting of Fruits of Rare Plants 

Abstract: With 362 threatened or endangered plant species in Hawaiʻi, 65% of which have less than 50 plants remaining, collecting fruits from Hawaiʻi’s rare plants is a critical step towards preventing extinctions and eventually moving towards recovery goals. Determining when to collect, how much fruit should be collected, and how they should be transported out of the field and to what facility are important to consider, with decisions often on a collection by collection basis. Stored seeds have shown reduced viability and storage longevity when seeds are collected from immature fruit, remained unprocessed and wet for extended periods of time, or were transported under unfavorable conditions. Fruits collected immature or containing seeds that are desiccation-sensitive should be immediately propagated (in lieu of undetermined cryopreservation protocols) as embryos do not develop after immature fruits are collected. Factors such as the number of seeds per fruit, fresh seed viability, and collection goals should be considered when planning a fruit collection. Communication between the ex situ facility, collector and/or land manager both before and after a collection is the best way to secure viable collections ex situ with strong representation of populations that can be used for future restoration and recovery efforts.

Working Group Questions:

  1. What obstacles are there to collecting and transporting propagules to the appropriate ex situ facility? What tools or methods are useful for this step?
  2. When should you ever consider not collecting in the field?
  3. What tools are/would be useful in determining whether a fruit is ready for harvest? (pictures, descriptions, remote cameras?)
  4. Which taxa have been repeatedly collected but never germinated?
  5. How much fruit should you collect and what do you need to know to answer this question (i.e. how many seeds are in each fruit, what is their viability, and what are your collection goals?
  6. How do you handle collections of seeds that are from plants with no secured habitat safe to establish reintroductions?

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