Students then separated into the their Kuahea and Pāhe‘e environmental zone groups and then set out on adventures in learning about the ‘āina mauna of Lāna‘i. Uncle Mike led the two outings along the old mountain trail to Pu‘u Ali‘i where the students learned about native plants, and invasive species, including the introduced rat which destroys native kahuli, loulu, and nesting ua‘u; and about the impacts of introduced plants on the health and water producing capacity of our island mountain.

June 23, 2017 Day 10 – Lāna‘i hale mountain lands — E ‘Ike Hou iā Lāna‘i — Cultural Literacy Initiative

Lāna‘i Hale – it was a beautiful morning, and there had been no significant rainfall over night. The students were joined by Mike Donoho, Pūlama Lāna‘i, Vice President-Natural Resources Management, and headed up to the site of the 1955-1958 Fog Drip Experiment Station on Lāna‘i Hale.


At 10:30a, Kūlanihāko‘i opened up with pouring rains and our outing in the living classroom was cut short. With everyone drenched, we set off to the classroom on a slick jeep trail, and along the way one of our vehicles got stuck (retrieved on Saturday after the road had dried out some).

Our Lāna‘i cohort then bid aloha to Aunty Ke‘ala and her ‘ohana (Uncle Keoki, Alaula and Kahiau), who shared their week and knowledge with us through the support of Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo me ka palena ‘ole no ke kāko‘o a a‘o ana mai iā mākou!


While one group was with Uncle Mike, the other half of the group reviewed historical accounts of Lāna‘i Hale—native lore, observations in the forest, and how significant the changes in the environment have been since the introduction of ungulates to the island. Loss of native plants and significant erosion are the by-product of grazing animals.

Uncle Mike provided students with an overview of the evolution of the Hawaiian mountain ecosystems, arrival and diversification of the biological communities of Hawai‘i and Lāna‘i.