Lāna‘i i ke ‘ehu o ke kai.
Lāna‘i stands among the sea sprays.
About once a year, MISC tries to get all staff (including those usually chained to their desks), out on a work trip and Lāna‘i is usually a good option. We can pitch camp at Hulopoe Bay at no cost thanks to support from Castle and Cooke and play in the surf after hot dusty days looking for fountain grass. Super-long sweep lines make logistical sense across the open red-dirt slopes of Kanepu‘u – it’s easy to see everyone and cover a lot of distance over just a few days. And it’s a great opportunity to bring all the field crews and office staff together in a different setting.
This year’s trip in May was one of the best. Everyone seemed in sync, with the load and laughter shared by all. Staff from Castle and Cooke and from Lāna‘i Native Species Recovery Program pitched in as well. Hardly any fountain grass was detected in the Kanepu‘u area, indicating that our strategy is working. Another strategy that seems to be working – training staff on multiple targets – was also in evidence. Vertebrate crew member, Dennis Green, brought the sweep line to a halt when he found a suspicious flowering plant. Lissa Fox immediately identified it as the elusive downy rose myrtle, a species previously reported as having been planted on Lāna‘i , but never before found. Although we didn’t turn up any more, we now have a point from which to conduct future searches.
I’m not sure about the kaona, or hidden meaning, if there is one, of the Hawaiian proverb about Lāna‘i . But if I were to make up my own, I’d say that our staff stands tall among the sea sprays. Trips like our recent one to Lāna‘i help bring that image home.
by Teya Penniman, MISC manager