Puuwaawaa has long been an area of interest for wildfire protection not only for HWMO, but for the state. Over the years, countless wildfires have threatened the native preserves on the mauka and makai stretches of the ahupuaa, prompting numerous efforts to create buffers within and around them. Much time and effort has been spent by DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and its partnering organizations to restore the native dryland forest throughout Puuwaawaa.
As part of the long-awaited Habitat Conservation Plan that will soon be established, DLNR DOFAW representatives held a community input meeting on March 1st at Auntie Sally's Hale in Hilo (another meeting will be held on March 7th in Kona). HWMO's Pablo Beimler drove to the meeting to hold court during an information session during the first half of the meeting. Pablo shared information regarding fire history in the area and prevention/preparedness tips for residents. DOFAW's Jupiter sat next to Pablo and shared great information on wildfire mitigation efforts that have taken place to protect the native forests of Puuwaawaa.
To conclude the meeting, comments on the plan were opened up to the public - a great opportunity for community members to share their perspectives and thoughts on how Puuwaawaa should be managed.