Native Hawaiian Sandalwood is extremely vulnerable to overharvesting and risk of extinction due to the fact that it takes more that 40 years to mature, and harvesting involves taking the entire tree. Furthermore the sandalwood tree is a hemi-parasite species meaning that it needs to grow along with certain host plants making it a very tricky species to reforest successfully.
Sandalwood’s extraordinary fragrance, versatility, and medicinal properties have put it in high demand for centuries, all over the world. This is why Hawaii’s native sandalwood population was almost completely decimated during the infamous sandalwood trade that took place during 1815-1825.
Despite this terrible time in Hawaii’s history, Hawaii still remains the only region in the world where sandalwood is being commercially harvested with out regulation. Native Hawaiian Sandalwood represents a quarter of the diversity of the genera Santalum. Six separate species are found through out the islands, and within these species are several unique varieties, all endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Santalum freycinetianum var.
Lanaiense has already been officially recognized as endangered. Therefore UpS has added the six native species S. pyrularium, S. involutum, S. freycinetianum, S. haleakalea, S. Paniculatum, S. elliticum to the 'At-Risk' list, in an effort to bring about stewardship of these living Hawaiian heirlooms that desperately need regulations that will provide guidelines to its management and protection.
Forest Botanicals: Working Together to Build a New Supply Chain was a “first of its kind” event that United Plant Savers held in November with support from Mountain Rose Herbs, Penn State, PCO and Virginia Tech.
How much longer can the ecosystem support the constant wild harvest of native woodland botanicals? Do we know who is harvesting and where are forest botanicals are being harvested? The new PCO forest grown verification program encourages "conservation through cultivation' as a solution of sustainability, quality and ethics. The new PCO program that allows woodland farmers of medicinal plants to be verified is perfectly synced with another new project “Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Program: Growing Opportunities Beneath the Canopy”. United Plant Savers is one of several collaborators that will be apart of a 3-year funded USDA program to train future forest farmer in how to become growers of native medicinal plants within the Appalachian region. If you are interested in knowing about future workshops/webinars and getting connected to the new network of forest farmers then please email your information to email@example.com. For those that attended and for those that are interested here are the powerpoints presented from the workshop in PDF format.
Sassafras Camp adjacent to the Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary is an outdoor nature and arts camp focused on environmental and ecological education, theater, yoga, art, music, games, and play. 2015 highlights were studying macroinvertebrates and water quality, medicinal plant study and salve making, arrowhead class, Native American storytelling and theater performances, basket making with Japanese Honeysuckle, daily yoga and meditation, fresh pasta making and healthy food education, many art projects including mask making and costume design, and cooperative games that encouraged the bonding of the entire camp family. …
This year the international Herb Symposium raised nearly 18,000 dollars for United Plant Savers. It was a plant healers gathering like no other with passionate teachers from around the world sharing among a network of caring participants ready to then disperse and germinate seeds of knowledge to their local communities. A few highlights: Paul Staments fungi medicine and how mushrooms are saving the bees, Diane Miller's talk on health freedom for our sanity, Rosemary's passion for safe guarding our traditions and the importance of restoring the healing forest and planetary biodiversity!
Here are a few pics:
Guadalupe Uribina is a singer song writer and artist from Costa Rica who traveled to the International Herb Symposium to perform. I have been in love with her music for many years and had planted the seed that she come to the IHS after she sang for the first Medicines from the Edge Conference in Costa Rica. Guadalupe's voice truly encapsulates the madre de la tierra and below is a video clip of one of my favorite songs. This song highlights the Rinco de la Vieja which is a dormant volcano central to the magical region of Guanacaste that is very dry…
Do you have someone or an organization in mind that you would like to nominate for the Medicinal Plant Conservation Award? If so send an email and tell us why. Nominations should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org