State Agency Says $4m a Year Needed to Fight Rapid `ohia Death

HONOLULU, KAUA`I (Ben Caxton) — A new battle plan for fighting Rapid `Ohia Death in Hawai`i calls for additional funding of $4 million, each year, over the next five years, to continue progress toward understanding and addressing the fungal disease that has seriously impacted Hawai`i’s native forests. The 2020-2024 update to the original strategic response plan released Monday was developed in stages, beginning with a progress review and discussion at the Rapid `Ohia Death Science Symposium in May of last year on the UH-Hilo campus. The plan details understanding of the disease and the microscopic fungi that cause it. This understanding of biology, impact and movement in individual trees, and dispersal patterns and mechanisms has improved through significant investments in time, energy, and resources in research. Up until recently, the disease had only been detected on Hawai`i Island, but in the past two years it has been found in limited areas on Kaua`i, O`ahu and Maui.

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