The rugged West Maui Mountains cover almost 50,000 acres and are home to 126 different types of rare Hawaiian plants, animals and natural communities. The region is exceptionally rich in its biology, even by Hawaiian standards, and also serves as a vital watershed, supplying Maui with 29 billion gallons of fresh water each year.
Formed in 1998 and modeled after its East Maui predecessor, the West Maui Mountains Partnership protects some of the most intact native forests in the state. The Conservancy's 1,264-acre Kapunakea Preserve is part of the West Maui Mountains watershed.
Partnerships like the ones established on East and West Maui enable landowners to work together to protect a much greater land area than any could alone. Rather than continuing to protect the watershed parcel by parcel, neighboring landowners can more efficiently protect a larger, contiguous area by combining efforts. The long-term benefits of working together to maintain and improve the watershed are worth it for everyone involved.
A healthy forest requires dedicated management. Pigs, goats, deer and invasive weeds all threaten the current stability of the West Maui watershed. Unauthorized human use, fire, rodents, introduced insects and plant diseases are other significant problems.
Since its formation, the partnership has constructed a series of strategic fences to keep pigs, goats and wild cattle out of the fragile watershed. Other management priorities include weed control, public education and awareness, and water and watershed monitoring.
County of Maui
Kahoma Land Company LLC
Ka'anapali Land Management Corp.
Mākila Land Company LLC
Maui County Board of Water Supply
Maui Land & Pineapple Co. Ltd.
State Department of Land and Natural Resources
The Nature Conservancy of Hawai`i
Wailuku Water Company, LLCFebruary 26, 2011