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Aloha e <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>,
E komo mai to the first issue of the redesigned HISC newsletter. Based on input from the HISC Outreach Working Group and partners we are trying out a new format. Feedback is appreciated. Please let us know what is useful and interesting to you. 

HISC Support Team- Chelsea Arnott (HISC planner), Leyla Kaufman (Māmalu poepoe), Elizabeth Speith (, and Chuck Chimera (HPWRA)
Hawaiʻi Interagency Biosecurity Plan- "Halfway Through" Progress Report
Work on 65% of the 147 action items  identified in the Hawaiʻi Interagency Biosecurity Plan has initiated since the planʻs release in 2017 thanks to the work of HDOA, DLNR, DOH, UH, and our invasive species partners. This year marks the halfway point for implementation of the plan, and we can reflect on our achievements made to improve biosecurity over the last 5 years, but to remember that there is still a lot of work ahead. You can view the full progress report or the snapshot with the links below.

Full January 2022 Progress Report
Snapshot of Progress
HISC funded project highlight- Māmalu poepoe
The multi-agency pest surveillance project, Māmalu Poepoe, has operated at Hawaii’s airports for the past 5 years monitoring for mosquitos, Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, Africanized bees, and invasive ants. The pilot project is in its last year of funding and our partner network has expressed the need to continue the current monitoring efforts and expand activities to include seaports. HISC is working with the regulatory agencies and DOT-Harbors on the next phase of the program and securing additional funds. 

Partnership between the Departments of Transportation, Agriculture, Health, Land and Natural Resources and the University of Hawaiʻi are key to increasing the capacity for surveillance at ports of entry across the state.
Legislative highlights
There were several bills related to invasive species introduced this 2022 Legislative Session. Here are some of the bills of interest that are still alive and HISC is tracking. Note: The status may have changed so please use the link to see the latest information.
SB 3379 SD1 This measure appropriates funds to support the Ports-of-Entry Program – Māmalu Poepoe.
SB 2996 SD1 This measure appropriates funds to support the Hawaiʻi Ant Lab.
HB 1600 State Budget Bill that would include an additional $1.5 million for HISC and $1.7 for the ROD Response.
SB 2059 SD1 HD1 Designates ʻŌhiʻa as Hawaii’s State Endemic Tree.

Our partners at the CGAPS recently gave a presentation on three ways to participate in Hawaii’s law-making process and created a handy HI Legislature Advocacy infographic to help you get started participating in the legislative process, tracking and giving testimony for bills. 
February 2022 Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Awareness Month Wrap-up
We had another successful month long invasive species awareness month. This is the second year for the full month of webinars, volunteer activities, and awards from across the state with all islands represented, except for Niʻihau.  You can subscribe to the HISC Youtube and follow the HISAM 22 playlist to watch any of this years webinar presentations. HISAM also recognizes individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond to address invasive species in Hawaii.
This year’s HISAM Awardees are: Learn about the 2022 awardees’ stories in this story map. Full playlist of HISAM 2022 award videos
HPWRA and 643PEST.ORG BOLO Pest Alert
In January 2020, staff of the BIISC reported a newly naturalized tree fern on private property in Volcano Village, Hawaiʻi Island. Identified as rough tree fern, this New Zealand native is not currently sold in Big Island nurseries and is not documented as naturalized on any other islands but has been promoted for cultivation in a past CTAHR publication along with several other non-native tree fern species.

weed risk assessment confirmed that rough tree fern poses a high risk to native ecosystems. Like other fern species, rough tree fern reproduces by prolific, wind-dispersed spores that allow it to spread by gusting winds and establish far from parent plants. Unlike many other tree fern species, however, rough tree fern can also spread vegetatively from runners arising from subterranean adventitious buds. Over time, this vegetative spread creates extensive groves that shade out understory plants and suppress germination with a dense cover of dead fronds that blanket the ground. The dead fronds are also highly flammable and could increase fire risk during times of drought.

All these factors contribute to rough tree fern’s designation as a native weed of New Zealand pastures and make it a monitoring and potential eradication target for BIISC as they control another invasive plant in the area.

Given the negative environmental impacts of Australian tree fern (Sphaeropteris cooperi) in the Hawaiian Islands, and high risk of rough tree fern and several other introduced tree ferns (e.g. Cyathea arboreaCyathea medullarisDicksonia antarctica and Dicksonia fibrosa), we should all be on the lookout for suspicious tree ferns growing in our forests or used in island landscaping, and encourage people to choose one of our native hapu`u (Cibotium species) whenever possible for their yard or landscaping needs. Please visit Plant Pono for more information.
Upcoming Events and Job Opportunities
  • Recognizing the importance and urgency to support the work being done to protect endangered and threatened native plants, Governor David Ige proclaimed that April is “Native Hawaiian Plant Month.” 
  • ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Day on April 25
Job Opportunities

The Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council (HISC) is a State interdepartmental collaboration of the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (HISC co-chair), Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture (HISC co-chair), Hawaiʻi Department of Health, Hawaiʻi Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, and the University of Hawaiʻi.
HISC web
HISC YouTube
Copyright © 2022 Hawaii Invasive Species Council, All rights reserved.

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