Rapid Ohia Death Matters More Than You Think
The fungal disease threatens our most iconic plant, our watersheds and endangered species that rely on ohia for shelter.
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A deadly new disease to the Hawaiian Islands known as Rapid Ohia Death has moved swiftly across 34,000 acres of Hawaii Island killing hundreds of thousands of ohia trees. Ohia trees cover more than 1 million acres statewide and are perhaps the most important tree in Hawaii. The ohia tree is fundamental to Hawaii’s watersheds and native forests, which are critical to the sustainability of the island’s source of fresh water.
A Sense Of Urgency
Scientists are struggling to find a way to curb or eliminate the disease out of fear that, unchecked, the disease likely will kill the entire forested inventory of trees around the state. That, to this writer, seems catastrophic. While I’m a late-comer in joining others in sounding the alarm, and have no claim to any expertise in this field, I do grasp the threat to Hawaii’s water supply and feel compelled to join the other voices in the shout out toward the public’s need to know.
Read more articles by Peter Apo on Hawaiian issues here.