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Volcano resident donates land to Kipuka Mosaic Project

July 17, 2014 - 12:05am

Longtime Volcano resident Fran Jackson has donated more than 1.4431 acres of her property to Hawaiian Islands Land Trust to be used as a perpetual conservation easement.

The Volcano property consists of five lots which are contiguous and forested with native species such as ohia. Jackson’s family purchased land in this area in 1936. It was her dream to protect this special place one day, and the completion of the conservation easement fulfills her dream. Her donation brings the total number of conservation easements secured by the trust in its Kipuka Mosaic Project for the Volcano area to five.

Jackson and her partner, Jean, will continue to live near the protected property with the knowledge that their gift will allow this special area to remain accessible to the wildlife and plants that have also made their home there. This now-protected land is part of a larger effort by the trust and community members in Volcano to protect “kipuka” or small oases of intact forest canopy in an area that is increasingly being developed. These oases provide green corridors for birds, butterflies and other insects to use while moving around the forest and onto adjacent protected lands such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kahaualea Natural Area and Olaa Forest Reserve.

The trust has been working with a group of landowners to preserve as much of the forest canopy as possible for the use of native birds and other species that move back and forth along the flank of Mauna Loa. This project, called the Kipuka Mosaic, is a grassroots conservation initiative that has brought together many small landowners, professional resource managers and the trust to help ensure the survival of rare flora and fauna, especially native birds, along the southern flanks of the massive Mauna Loa Volcano.

Three large protected areas — Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kahaualea Natural Area and the Olaa Forest Reserve — are divided by huge and partially undeveloped subdivisions that have the potential to fragment the connections between these important protected areas. The Kipuka Mosaic Project aims to secure numerous conservation easements within these potentially fragmenting subdivisions so to help provide a continuum of habitat for native flora and fauna.

“On behalf of Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, I want to thank Fran Jackson for her long-term vision, leadership and generosity,” said Ted Clement, the trust’s executive director.

“She has helped us add another perpetual green patch to our conservation quilt in the Volcano area of Hawaii Island, known as our Kipuka Mosaic Project. I also want to acknowledge and thank our Acquisitions Specialist/Hawaii Island Director, Janet Britt, for her hard work on this project.”

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It is the first nationally accredited land trust in Hawaii, with a mission to protect the lands that will sustain us for current and future generations. The organization has conserved more than 17,000 acres to date, via perpetual Conservation Easements and fee simple ownership, on a number of properties with various conservation values important to residents and visitors alike.

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