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Office of Maunakea Management seeks volunteers for invasive fireweed pull

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Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

The Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is seeking community volunteers to participate in its Mālama Maunakea campaign, scheduled for Saturday, December 5 at 8 a.m. Space is limited.

“Our overarching goal at the Office of Maunakea Management is to mālama Maunakea. Taking care of 12,000 acres is a daunting task, but with collaborative community partnerships we can accomplish much,” stated OMKM Director Stephanie Nagata. “We are so thankful to the school groups, service organizations, Chambers, individual and families of volunteers who give of their weekend to take care of Maunakea.

“The invasive species weed pulls, held since 2012, have proven quite successful with over 800 participants volunteering over 5,000 hours, pulling over 1,000 garbage bags of invasive weeds and also planting 200 Maunakea silversword,” Nagata added.

The Saturday weed pulls concentrate on eradicating the invasive fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) along the Maunakea Access Road and around Halepōhaku at approximately 9,200’ elevation. The fireweed pulls help keep this invasive species from being transported to the upper elevation areas of Maunakea and reduce habitat for invasive insects.

For Hilo-based volunteers, transportation to and from Hilo is provided. For West Hawaiʻi volunteers, OMKM will help coordinate ride sharing. Upon arrival at Halepōhaku, volunteers are given a project orientation and allowed time to acclimate to the high elevation. A brief tour of Maunakea resources completes the day on the mountain.

To volunteer or for more information, contact OMKM at 933-3884 or email

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