The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is inviting the public to comment on the draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental assessment for Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge on O‘ahu. When final, the plan will guide management of the refuge for the next 15 years.
“Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge’s three small units are key habitats for numerous endangered species,” said Dave Ellis, project leader for the O‘ahu National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “Our focus in the draft plan is to protect, restore, and maintain the habitats upon which these species depend for survival, while providing limited opportunities for environmental education and wildlife observation.”
Tucked amidst naval facilities and urban development, the Honouliuli and Waiawa Units on Pearl Harbor’sWest and Middle Lochs are managed under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Navy to provide wetland habitat for four of Hawai‘i’s endangered waterbirds: a‘eo (Hawaiian stilt), ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), and koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), as well as a variety of migratoryshorebirds and waterfowl. The refuge was established in 1972 as mitigation for construction of the Honolulu International Airport’s reef runway.
Located west of Honolulu on the ‘Ewa Plain, the Kalaeloa Unit was established on the former Barber’s PointNaval Air Station in 2001 to protect and enhance the habitat for the endangered plants ‘Ewa hinahina and‘akoko. Kalaeloa is an area of raised limestone coral reef with ancient coastal dryland plant communities thatwere once widespread throughout the ‘Ewa plain. It also includes numerous anchialine pools, uniquemicrohabitats that support two species of native shrimps.
Two alternatives are proposed in the draft document, including continuing current management and increasing native habitat restoration and wetland management. Under both alternatives, the wetlands at theHonouliuli and Waiawa units are managed as core management areas as identified in the Recovery Plan forHawaiian Waterbirds, and the Kalaeloa Unit is managed for endangered plant recovery. In addition, under both alternatives the Betty Bliss Memorial Refuge Overlook will be constructed at the Honouliuli Unit in association with the Pearl Harbor Historic Trail project to provide new visitor opportunities for compatiblewildlife observation, photography, and interpretation.
Copies of the full document and/or a summary (planning update) can be obtained at the Refuge Complex office in Hale‘iwa; or you may request copies by calling the Refuge at (808) 637-6330. The document is available online.
You may provide written comments on this document by letter, fax, or email. All comments must be emailed orpostmarked by September 15, 2010 to be considered. All public comments will be compiled and presented to theplanning team for consideration. Comments may be sent by email to: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov (please put “Pearl Harbor NWR CCP-EA” in the subject line); by mail to Dave Ellis, Project Leader, O‘ahu NationalWildlife Refuge Complex, 66-590 Kamehameha Hwy., Room 2C, Hale‘iwa, HI 96712; or by fax to 808.637.3578.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader andtrusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our workand the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.