Ancient forest on Hawaii's Big Island protected - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ancient forest on Hawaii's Big Island protected

Hawaii Island Hawaii Island

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - The Nature Conservancy has acquired a conservation easement to preserve a 922-acre area with an ancient forest and disappearing stream on Hawaii's Big Island.

West Hawaii Today reported Wednesday that the land will serve as an outdoor ecology laboratory for students at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

The rugged, mossy property features a diversity of native plants, birds and insects. Its forest is 400 to 700 years old and was bypassed by a volcanic lava flow in 1855.

The land has had problems with weeds, feral pigs and illegal trash dumping because it is so close to Saddle Road.

It's now part of 15,000 acres that The Nature Conservancy manages on Hawaii Island. With its partners, the nonprofit protects about 200,000 acres statewide.

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