State seeks comment on Waimanalo forest plan

HONOLULU (AP) - The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is asking the public to comment on a draft plan for managing nearly 500 acres of conservation land in Oahu's Waimanalo valley.

The Waimanalo Forest Reserve is almost completely forested and has hiking trails for hiking, cycling and horseback riding.

But it has few native plant species. Most of its vegetation consists of invasive trees.

The draft management plan proposes replacing invasive species on steep slopes with native plants and trees. It suggests planting timber areas with high-value hardwood species like koa, mahogany or teak.

It proposes planting fruit and nut orchards at lower elevations. The agroforestry approach would produce timber, fruits and nuts while providing shade for understory crops.

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife is accepting comments through Aug. 9.

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