- Hawai’i’s economy is 2 dimensional, relying both on agricultural products and tourism. In order for the state to have a more sustainable economy it’s going to need multiple sources of revenues and not rely primarily on one. Currently there is no successful model of timber harvesting in Hawaii. Developing a forestry industry in Hawaii would be very beneficial for the State and its people.
In 1956, a model forest for commercial forestry was initiated in the 12,500-acre area called Waiākea on the Big Island. The initial objective of the Waiākea Timber management area (WTMA) was to establish a supply of forest resources to provide a continuous wood supply for a forest products industry. From 1956-1980, the area was monitored to determine the adaptability and growth potential of 84 introduced timber species. Due to inefficient start up problems regarding development and financial issues the planned major harvest never happened. This capstone improves upon the existing resource management plan through the knowledge I’ve gained through this masters program.
I propose several types of analysis to track the success of the proposed management plan, including cost benefit, financial analysis on the revenue from the area, inventory of invasive species, population of native species that are in endangered, areas set aside for experiment and learning, and feedback from all levels of groups in Hawaiʻi by meetings, surveying, and questionnaires.
In conclusion, this capstone presents a sustainable commercial harvest operation plan for WTMA. This plan promotes healthy land stewardship for WTMA and surrounding forest reserves, creating a new source of revenue that sustainably stimulates and supports the growth of the environment, and the welfare of people of Hawai’i.