Stopping ROD on Eco-Tours

  • 23 November 2018
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 7186
Stopping ROD on Eco-Tours

The Cooperative Extension forestry team is teaming up with the island Invasive Species Committees, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry & Wildlife, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Hawai‘i Ecotourism Association to offer a series of free workshops for eco-tour operators on how to avoid spreading the pathogen that causes Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD), little fire ants, gorse, and other invasive species. Since ROD was identified on Hawai‘i Island in 2014, the introduced disease has killed hundreds of thousands of native ‘ōhi‘a trees. More recently, one of the fungi causing ROD was detected on Kaua‘i, reinforcing the need for stronger and collaborative tactics to stop invasive species from entering and spreading within the Hawaiian Islands. The free workshops will be given on Hawai‘i Island (Kona) on Tuesday, November 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon; on Maui on Wednesday, November 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon; on O‘ahu on Wednesday, December 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; on Hawai‘i Island (Hilo) on Thursday, December 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon; and on Kaua‘i on Wednesday, December 12, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. Interested eco-tour operators can register at the Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death website. The workshops will also feature a new how-to video by OCS media specialist Godwin Polendey. The trainings should be good for business as well as good for the forest; Corie Yanger, the Cooperative Extension ROD educational specialist and one of the main organizers for the workshops, explains that she and other program collaborators will be partnering with HEA over the next year to bolster invasive species prevention requirements for the eco-tour certification process overseen by HEA.