ASCC-ACNR completes landscape restoration project in Olosega
Ologsega, MANU'A — “Olosega is a beautiful village, and it gives me great hope in seeing our people work together in protecting and preserving the island’s natural beauty and habitat,” said ASCC-ACNR Forestry Program Manager Denis Sene, Jr. at the completion of its Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) project in Olosega, Manu‘a.
The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) – Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR) Division’s Forestry Program along with the Olosega village and youth groups celebrated the completion of the LSR project with a closing ceremony on November 13th. The project focused on intensive management of medium to high priority areas for the island of Ofu and Olosega.
The island’s pristine forests, clear waters, and low human population have preserved its native species and habitats, along with numerous natural resources. However, increasing climate change effects, invasive species population, and community requests have stressed the need for management efforts.
Since January, the ASCC-ACNR Forestry Program has been working closely with the Olosega youth and village groups in implementing the project goals, which include invasive plant removal, native and coastal tree planting, and community outreach/awareness. More than 35 participants from Olosega assisted with removing a total of 2,993 invasive plants consisting of Leucaena leucocephala (Lusina), Clerodendrum quadriloculare (La’au vili taliga), and Clerodendrum paniculatum (Faleo’o). At the same time, a total of 26 native trees such as Callophyllum inophyllum (Fetau) were planted across the controlled sites to prevent any other invasive plants from growing.
“The ASCC-ACNR Forestry Program will continue to do our best in supporting our youth, communities, and most importantly, our forests and environment,” said Sene, Jr.
Several representatives from the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) – Agriculture, Community and Natural Resources (ACNR) Division and Olosega Village attending the closing ceremony celebration for the Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Project in Olosega." [photo: ASCC-ACNR]
The ASCC-ACNR Forestry Program expressed its gratitude to ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Makaiwi-Pato, ASCC-ACNR Director Aufa‘i Apulu Ropeti Areta, and the ASCC Procurement and Finance Departments for their continuous support of the LSR project, and extends its appreciation to all those who participated. In addition, the Program thanks the following individuals for their assistance in implementing the project in Olosega: Reverend Elder Lamese Faafili, Faalupega Silifaiva M. Faiai, former mayor the late Tautala P. Tautala, current Mayor Saoluaga F. Livi, Village Contact Leatiota P. Leatiota, Youth Contact Susie Tinoisamoa, and ASCC-ACNR Manu‘a Agent Mele Faiai.
The ASCC-ACNR Forestry Program consists of three divisions: Forest Health Protection - Invasive Plants, for forest health activities, monitoring, and reporting on the health of all forest lands; Forest Stewardship, for assisting landowners with forest and wetlands management; and Urban and Community Forestry, for management of trees and forests within populated areas from small villages to large cities, community outreach and tree planting. Each program is dedicated to the protection, conservation and restoration of forests in American Samoa.
The Ofu/Olosega LSR project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – U.S. Forest Service (USFS). For more information about the ASCC-ACNR Forestry Program please call 699-1575 ext. 241.