The Plants of Kaho'olawe
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB (ARMY) CHAMPAIGN IL
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For at least two centuries prior to World War II, the Hawaiian island of Kahoolawe suffered the ravages of periodic wildfires, slash-and-burn agriculture, and sever overgrazing, leaving the island almost barren of vegetation. With the entry of the United States into World War II, Kahoolawe, then part of the U.S. Territory of Hawaii, became a focal point for military training in the South Pacific. In 1953 the uninhabited island was placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy. Today, legislation is in progress to return the island to the State of Hawaii. From 1987 to 1993, the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories USACERL worked with the U.S. Navy to develop a cost-effective land rehabilitation prescription for Kahoolawe. As part of that effort, a study was undertaken to determine, as nearly as possible, the original plant species of the island. This report, containing former and extant plant species, is the product of that study. The list of plant species will be included in a natural resources data base for use in future land rehabilitation projects on Kahoolawe.