The recent fires in Hawaii sparked a lot more than flames. A flurry of articles on the non-native grasses that fueled the fires have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Post, the Washington Post, and Nature.com, among many others.
Sadly, none of this was news, as reported more than a year ago by Hawaii News Now and other outlets, spurring Lahaina residents into action planting natives in an effort to forestall future fires. But, as we all now know, it was too little, too late — and the final cost to Hawaii’s endangered plant species — fully 44% of the nation’s — is still to be tallied.
Ironically, April this year was designated “Hawaii Native Plant Month” by Hawaii’s Governor, Josh Green, celebrating rebounds made by plants and rediscoveries made by botanists in recent years. It will be some time before we know for certain how many of those successes have been undone by the wildfires.
So, what to do?
This newsletter goes out to 5,000 recipients each month, and on average, 52.7% of those recipients read at least part of it. It’s not a silver bullet, but if everyone reading this post were to commit to an action, great or small, whether it’s replacing a bit of lawn with natives or volunteering to serve the SCNPS as Board president or anything in between, that would be HUGE.
Don’t get depressed. Get involved. Every little bit helps, truly.
And, after all this serious talk, let’s end with something fun: From the Associated Press, an article on the joys (and deliciousness) of Paw Paws!