Keeping Kauai's New Nature Preserve Untouched

Trae Menard
Trae Menard

WAINIHA (KHNL) -- Kauai has a new nature preserve, at a pristine location that almost all of us have never set foot in.

And there are hopes it will stay that way.

It is unspoiled beauty, thousands of acres of it, on Kauai's scenic windward side.

Wainihi valley.

"Its almost beyond words, in its incredible biological diversity and shear beauty," says the Nature Conservancy's Executive Director, Suzanne Case.

From spectacular waterfalls to misty mountainsides, the remote area of Kauai, next to Kokee State Park, is only accessible by helicopter.

Untouched by people and invasive species of plants and animals.

Seeing this new nature preserve is like looking at the Kauai of centuries ago.

"We found that the preserve contains 71 species of plants only found on Kauai, which is important because if they are lost from Kauai they are lost from the planet," says Trae Menard, with the Nature Conservancy.

"You get to a point where there could be irreversible damage done ,were not at that point, but if the lands are not managed in 5-10 years they could be," says Allen Doane, the CEO of Alexander & Baldwin.

Alexander and Baldwin, the owner of over seven thousand of these acres, is now allowing the Nature Conservancy to manage the area for the next ten years.

So work can be done to protect it from threats.

Fencing can go in to keep feral pigs out.

And Australian tree ferns can be removed before they crowd out native species.

Allowing the picturesque place a place to grow in peace.

"Weaving all of those things in, hydrological value, the ecological and cultural value, the preserve is a milestone in protecting the many different resources for Hawaii," says Sam Gon, a scientist with the Nature Conservancy.

Alexander and Baldwin also gave the nature conservancy a $100,000 grant to reduce alien species in the protected habitat and also educate the community about this important resource.