Wildfire is the biggest risk to native dry forests at Pu'u Wa'wa'a Forest Reserve due to invasive flammable grasses, and can quickly destroy restored areas in the forest. Grazing is considered the most effective means to reduce fire risk on a landscape level.
Pu’u Wa’awa’a management is considering implementing targeted cattle grazing to reduce fire risk. In order to implement this strategy stakeholder values and Hawaii cattle ranching economics must be understood. Potential value conflicts between stakeholders now appear to exist and cattle grazing appears to be not profitable. More information is needed to clarify the situation in order to develop a strategy.
1) Investigate stakeholder values, preferences, concerns, and potential conflicts. Of special interest is the cost of production of cattle ranchers that graze in Pu'u Wa'awa'a.
2) Survey stakeholder groups to assess their support for various dry forest management strategies.
Cattle ranchers grazing on Pu'u Wa'awa'a are not profitable. Various stakeholder values include:
Three strategies were considered for comprehensive Pu'u Wa'awa'a management.
Principle component scatter plot suggests that hunting, rural lifestyle and paniolo heritage tended to be valued by the same stakeholder group. Local food was valued by all stakeholder groups by a small degree. Native Hawaiian culture tended to be more important to stakeholders that valued forest conservation and paniolo heritage. Respondents that valued native forest conservation highest tended to value hunting, rural lifestyle, and paniolo heritage less. Outdoor recreation values were associated both with native forest conservation and hunting.
Figure 1: Principle component analysis of stakeholder values.
General linear models were developed to investigate the proportion of overall funding that survey respondents allocated to each management strategy. Models were fit using all possible combinations of seven stakeholder values. Multi model inference based on the AIC score was used to select the most appropriate models. Model averaging determined the best fitting combination of values.
Respondents that valued native forest conservation had significant negative willingness to fund the cattle grazing strategy, while they had a positive willingness to fund restoration at the 95% level of confidence. At a 90% confidence level, respondents that value rural lifestyle are not willing to fund cattle grazing but are willing to fund restoration, respondents that value paniolo heritage are willing to fund cattle grazing, and respondents that valued local food production were not willing to fund restoration.
Table 1: Conditional model averages
Because we didn't get a lot of significant fits for the conditional model averages, we isolated the stakeholder's most important values. Respondents that indicated a particular value comprised 28% or more of the total values they considered when funding the various strategies are reflected in Figure 1. Then we investigated how they would allocate funding among the 3 strategies. Four values met this criteria.
Figure 2: Funding allocations for highest ranked models
Objective 1: Literature review, stakeholder interviews using convenience and snowball sampling, and estimate cost of production for Pu'u Wa'awa'a cattle ranchers using Calf-XL.
Objective 2: Identify stakeholder groups based on interview results. Develop a survey to determine the socioeconomic characteristics of the stakeholder groups, and their preferences for various management strategies.
Ranchers can not economically graze for fire risk control without incentives. Results suggest that stakeholders that value hunting will be in conflict with those that value native forest conservation. They are in support of cattle grazing to reduce fire risk, however, they are not in support of restoration. Restoration of an area excludes hunting, which is likely the cause of their lack of support for restoration.
No stakeholder groups appear to support goats. Rural lifestyle, paniolo heritage, and local food production were mixed. Rural lifestyle had some support for restoration, but no support for cattle, paniolo heritage had some support for cattle, and local food production had no support for restoration.
Education on fire risk targeting people that value native forest conservation is needed. Their opposition to grazing will present a conflict if this strategy is pursued. No other options for fire risk reduction on a landscape scale are feasible. Those valuing native forest conservation seem to only value the restoration strategy.