Rapid Ohia Death fungus research, response could cost millions

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Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 9:40 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Creating a plan to address Rapid Ohia Death, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is estimating they’ll need $4 million a year for the next five years.

The state released a strategic response plan to address the fungal disease Monday.

Rapid Ohia Death, or ROD, has killed off thousands of acres of cherished ohia trees on Hawaii Island. As recently as the last two years, the fungus was discovered to have spread to the other main Hawaiian Islands.

In the plan, they also detailed steps to better understand the microscopic fungi.

The DLNR also credits community outreach for awareness of the disease. New cases of ROD are quickly isolated thanks to rapid response teams.

The Strategic Response Plan team said, “The current status and distribution of the disease has also broadened our recognition that each island mush have adequate capacity for actions across the detection and response spectrum and that the needs for research, tools and management also differ.”

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