Fern Forest Community and New Faces (Volcano, Hawaiian Acres: subdivision, square footage, to live in)
Big IslandThe Island of Hawaii
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Concerning coqui's, I don't mind them a bit. I'm young, have great hearing, and have the forest right up against my window (rental property). I've lived like this for 2 1/2 years. That said, this week I'm moving to a home I just finished building here (neither properties in Fern Forest). In this case I cleared the forest way back away from the house, primarily to cut down on mosquitoes. The coquis are still there, however they stay in the heavy growth areas and, as such, their noise around the house is significantly less.
Last edited by Ryan.; 04-08-2012 at 09:56 AM..
Reason: Add more detail
Lucky you. And I have friends who are not bothered by them. On the other hand, there are others like me who are greatly disturbed by their racket. Disturbed to the point of backing out of real estate transactions over their presence. And that's why, today, when you buy real estate on the Big Island you have to sign a declaration that you are aware of the issue, because too many deals were being legally challenged over non-disclosure of coquis' presence on the property to buyers who had never experience their nuisance.
Whether you are OK with having them around or not... besides hating their noise, I hate the fact that they are non-native and invasive and crowding out native frogs from the habitat... I couldn't imagine anyone being for them. But now it has happened, a small group of contrarians has stepped forth to oppose the community effort to eradicate coquis in Volcano.
So far the non-profit volunteer Coquistadores have mentioned to hold the line pretty well mauka the Belt Highway, which is at about 3,800' altitude, through aggressive search and destroy patrols, a community hotline, info booths at the farmer's markets, and so on. Now the community newsletter includes opposing views that want the frogs left alone.
Personally, I suspect that the opposition is more concerned about stopping the kind of snooping around in the woods that might expose their personal pakalolo plots, but who really knows?
Doesn't matter if they want them, I'm pretty sure coquis have been legally declared a nuisance and it is allowed to go kill them when found. I think even if they are on private property. It is illegal to transport them, keep them or propagate them. Pretty much the same as mongoose. The pro-coqui folks may find themselves in court eventually. There was something about the legalities of all this several years ago, you'd have to find someone knowledgeable about the whole thing for specific details, but if it is a concern, it might be worth some investigation.
Doesn't matter if they want them, I'm pretty sure coquis have been legally declared a nuisance and it is allowed to go kill them when found. I think even if they are on private property.
Well, yes, they are officially considered a pest, but the County stopped funding eradication efforts several years ago, essentially giving up the battle as unwinnable.
And I don't believe search or treatment of private property is allowed without permission. I know the Coquistadores are frustrated by several owners who have known infestations, which serve as breeding grounds to infect neighboring properties, where the owners refuse to grant permission to enter.
One more complication is that EPA regulations have to be followed, which means that only approved treatments can be used, so as not to destroy the ecosystem. The most widely used measure currently is to spray a suspension of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in water onto the ground and lower vegetation where they might be hiding. It isn't a poison, but it messes with the pH of their skin. It takes a special rig to stir the liquid constantly, the ascorbic acid is expensive and must be used in large quantities, the spray must hit the frogs directly to be effective, and it all washes away in rain, which is often. But the state does still have loaner rigs available, which several community associations use for eradication drives from time to time.
A very promising experimental technique, using leaf blowers (cheaper than spray rigs) to blow dry bicarbonate of soda (much cheaper than ascorbic acid) into the underbrush, but it was never approved for wide use, so it's basically a bootleg technique at present.
The other approved technique is to spray a solution of agricultural lime around, but that's like whitewashing everything in sight, so it's fallen out of favor.
Truth be told, the only thing that might have stopped them completely would have been a much more aggressive campaign a dozen years ago when they were accidentally introduced here, but that didn't happen. Now they seem to be naturalizing, and adapting to Hawai'i. There are reports they are growing larger here. And even in the cooler climes above 4,000' they seem to make inroads during the summer months, then die back... or at least become dormant... during winter months.
The salient point, however, is that people who buy BI property sight unseen, or without benefit of an overnight stay (coquis are only active at night) can have a very rude shock when they first encounter the noisy little critters.
FOR THOUGHT for those thinking of moving to Hawaii Island:
IF an area is wonderful to live in, cheap, friendly, safe, has employment opportunities, good medical care access, great schools ..... then the land would not be cheap, would it? Wouldn't those million folks paying high prices on Oahu live in that other area instead.
It's odd that so many people who don't even live in the Forest know so very much about it... But in actuality... there's lots of misinformation going on. How about letting some Fern Forest residents give the real scoop?
Yes, there are thieves. There are thieves in pretty much any subdivision. And crack heads. And loose dogs. And 'strange' people. Unless you want to live in an area that controls what color you paint your house, how big your square footage is, etc, then you are going to get these things. It's a great trade off as far as I'm concerned.
The coquis aren't bad up here at all. We're at a higher elevation, so they have some die back. If they get to be too much, get out there and spread some lime around on the ground. No big deal. The bug issues are a lot less as well; less mosquitos, no fire ants, very few centipedes, etc. And it doesn't get hot and muggy. The native birds are astounding every morning, along with a few not so native. But no major Myna bird population...
Perpetuating a stereotype that 'those Fern Forest People' are whacked out, thieving crackheads who live in a hellish area is more than a bit annoying. There most certainly IS a community here, there are multiple sub-cultures, people who grow food, sell livestock, work together... Our roads are a damn site better than Hawaiian Acres and our thievery is probably not more than HPP. We don't have the crazy-hot-muggy weather and we associate more with Volcano Village for the most part. There are loads of amazing, talented, employed people who live out here. We do get lots of rain. If you aren't prepared for rain, don't bother. We don't get lots of fog. We get some, but it isn't the norm. And we don't get much vog either. It tends to 'jump' us except for a week or two early on in the year.
The BIGGEST thing to know about Fern Forest if you are considering here is the rain. It rains A LOT. Sixty days straight of rain is not uncommon. And please, for your sake, don't open your gates right away. Get to know the area, do your own thing and you will begin to learn it and learn who to trust and who not to. You can then invite people you trust. It sounds like if you can deal with the weather and hone your skills of selective invites, then you would be a welcome addition to our community.
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