Kauai's rugged mountains intercept moist trade winds, producing a bounty of rain that replenishes the island's streams and aquifers. The summit region near Wai'ale'ale, arguably the wettest spot on earth, sits at the head of island's five largest aquifers, and the surrounding watershed is home to thousands of native plants, birds, snails, insects, and other invertebrates that comprise Kauai's famed biodiversity.
In 2003, nine state and private landowners, and the Kaua'i County Board of Water Supply, joined forces and formed the Kaua'i Watershed Alliance (KWA). The Conservancy's Kaua'i Program was contracted by the KWA to write a watershed management plan, which was completed in April, 2005.
TNC is now coordinating the implementation of an overall management strategy, detailed in the plan, to protect the 144,004 acres of partnership lands.
As the oldest and most remote of the populated
The montane wet forest ecosystem captures the majority of the rainfall and contains the majority of
The partners, whose public and private land holdings lie within the forest reserve boundary, recognize that continuing cooperation is the key to a successful watershed management program that will safeguard this region from invasive alien plants, animals, and other threats. The members have different interests, priorities, and constituencies, but all share a common commitment to the long-term protection of
Highest priority was given to programs systematically addressing ungulate and weed control, two critical threats. Reducing the impact of these threats across the watershed is of primary importance to the continued health of the island's water supply, and the survival of
Partnership projects currently underway include comprehensive aerial weed mapping and removal of alien species from the Alaka`i Plateau, a mile-high plateau cradled between the mountains and the upper portions of Lumahai and