Army conducting invasive species management effort at Makua – Mar. 20-21, 2013

March 20, 2013

B1_DPW_Invasive-Species-Week_Fountain-Grass_w

Aloha Community Leaders – For your use and consideration on your websites, newsletters or in social media.

The U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI) and the Oahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC) are continuing efforts to stop the spread of invasive fountain grass on the Waianae Coast.

USAG-HI and OISC staff will be conducting an aerial spray operation on Makua Military Reservation, March 20-21, to eliminate a population of fountain grass.

The work involves the targeted application of an herbicide onto individual plants using a spray ball suspended from a small helicopter. During application, the helicopter may be visible from Farrington Highway near Makua Valley. Operations will only take place in optimal (low wind/rain) weather conditions. The last aerial spray application was conducted in late May 2012, and treated approximately 300 plants.

There are no rare or endangered plants within the treatment area, and the application does not pose a risk to ground or ocean waters, springs, or wells of Makua Valley. The activities are not expected to impact area motorists or hikers.

For more information or concerns about this effort, please contact U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Community Relations at 656-3158 or 656-3159.

BACKGROUND ON THE EFFORT:

Fountain grass is not native to Hawaii. It is a state-listed noxious weed, ecologically adapted to fuel brushfires. Fountain grass is well-established elsewhere on Oahu, notably Diamond Head and Lanikai. Community members can help stop the spread of invasive species by calling 808-266-7994 or visit www.oahuisc.org for more information.

OISC and USAG-HI efforts to stop the spread of fountain grass on the Waianae Coast began in 2011 after a population of the weed was discovered on the cliffs above Kaneana cave along Farrington Highway. During early efforts, staff walked the area and applied herbicide by hand to plants that were accessible. A majority of the plants are located on very steep terrain, however, making it too dangerous to control the entire population by hand.

Aerial treatment was the next critical step to eliminating the population, according to Army biologists.  The plants are scattered on approximately 30 acres of Army and neighboring land, however the operation targets a concentration of plants on approximately 9.6 acres of Army property.

Mahalo-
Amy
Amy L. Bugala
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, Public Affairs Chief, Community Relations
314 Sasaoka St.
BLDG 300, RM 105, WAAF
Schofield Barracks, HI 96857
p:808-656-3158 // f:808-656-3162
amy.bugala@us.army.mil

How are we doing? Comments are welcome at http://ice.disa.mil, under Pacific, Schofield Barracks, Information Management and then Public Affairs.

Check us out on:
www.facebook.com/usaghawaii
www.flickr.com/usaghawaii
www.twitter.com/usaghawaii
www.vimeo.com/usaghi
www.youtube.com/usaghawaii

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