Hank Oppenheimer is a field botanist in Hawai`i for more than 30 years, re-discovering plants thought to be extinct and finding species new to science. He is the Maui Nui coordinator for the Plant Extinction Prevention Program which aims to find, stabilize and help recover the rarest of the rarest Hawaiian plants. Hank has also been witness to significant fires--not only the Lāhaina catastrophe of August 2023--but other fires impacting communities and ecosystems that up until recently escaped the public's attention. We talk candidly about the hardships he and others experience in Maui Komohana (West Maui) and what the long road to recovery might look like now and in the future.
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