Hau’oli Makahiki Hou to all on this first week of the New Year (Gregorian Calendar). Welcome to the weblog of the Hawai`i State Assessment of Forest Conditions and Long-Term Resource Strategy. This weblog currently has one blogger; me. I’m Ron C, forester with the Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources/Division of Forestry and Wildlife/Administrative Office in Honolulu, Hawai`i (DLNR and DOFAW).
The purpose of this blog is to document my experience in developing two documents; 1) Hawaii’s State Assessment of Forest Conditions and 2) Our Long-Term Resource Strategy. Each US state, territory, commonwealth and Pacific Freely Associated State must submit these two documents in order to qualify for a significant number of USDA programs reauthorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. Our main partners for these programs are the USDA Forest Service (USFS), and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The 2008 Farm Bill requires that the State Assessment and Resource Strategies (StARS), and specifically the Hawaii StARS must be submitted by the State Forester to the USDA Secretary of Agriculture no later than June 18, 2010, two years to the date of the enactment of the Farm Bill.
But the reality of today is that we live in uncertain times. Exciting, uncharted, dangerous, and inevitably transformative times. But hard times. And so, as a civil servant, and like so many of us in this world, I am losing key staff positions, working through budget cuts, doing more with less (read: “increase efficiency”), and being thankful for what I do have.
I love my job, I am proud of my profession, I have great colleagues (and we know who you are), and I am truly thankful and humbled to play a part in caring for these extraordinary islands, serving to protect our common heritage, and play a small part in perpetuating our unique lands and our people.
I am the section head of the Planning & Information Services of DOFAW, a tropical botanist and forester by training a computer guy with a passion for maps (now called GIS) and the Web.
Official Disclosure: This blog, and the main Hawaii StARS website are *not* official web sites. They may be one day, but as of today, they are registered, paid for and run by myself. Not a problem. I know for a fact that our State Teachers spend way more each year on pens, markers, stickers, . . . but, hey, I gotta get this project done and done right. So if I gotta spend a few bucks and work at home, so be it. I’m 50, single and yeah, I do have a life. But I have pretty much dedicated the next two years of my life to this project and so it will be so.
This website is an experiment and a work in progress. Please send comments (sorry to make you register but otherwise the spambot zombie machines really overwhelm your humble blogger) and let me know what you need to make these documents work for you, and I will do my best to accommodate.
OH, AND VOLUNTEERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT ME IF YOU WANT HELP MAINTAIN AND EXPAND THE FUNCTIONALITY OF THIS SITE.
Here we go.
January 6, 2009