Natural Area Reserves

Grants from the State of Hawai‘i Land Conservation Fund support efforts by state agencies, counties, and nonprofit land conservation organizations to acquire land and protect resources for public benefit. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), through its Legacy Land Conservation Program, seeks applications from these partners for grants to preserve – forever -- land that has natural, environmental, recreational, scenic, cultural, agricultural production, or historic value, including park and trail systems that provide access to such land.

A first-of-its-kind initiative in Hawai‘i to use carbon offset credits for reforestation and recovery of Hawai‘i Island pasture land is moving forward with the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP). The program involves planting of native tree species such as koa and mamane, restoration of the watershed on the north slopes of Mauna Kea, and habitat restoration for the endangered native bird, the palila. The initiative will generate revenues for all the activities through the sale of carbon offset credits

This Natural Area Reserve (NAR) is prime breeding and nesting area for the critically endangered Hawaiian Petrel and Newell’s Shearwater. A recent analysis of long-term radar studies on Kaua‘i revealed massive declines in populations of endangered seabirds here. The study showed that between 1993 and 2013, populations of the ‘A‘o (Newell’s Shearwater) declined by 94% and Ua‘u (Hawaiian Petrel) by 78%. In addition to the threats from introduced predators, Kaua‘i’s endangered seabirds are under threat from a whole suite of issues, including powerline collisions, light attraction and invasive plants – as well as threats at sea which could include overfishing, by-catch and the effects of climate change.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is seeking new projects for its Hawaiʻi Forest Legacy Program that will protect important working forest lands from the threat of conversion to non-forest uses. The Forest Legacy Program, administrated through DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, is accepting applications for conservation acquisition assistance through the program.

DLNR Chair Suzanne Case today, applauded Environmental Court Judge Jeannette Castagnetti for sending a strong message to the community and to one of the men convicted of the brutal killing of albatross at Ka‘ena Point Natural Area Reserve (NAR) on O‘ahu in December 2015.

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife is seeking public input and comments on two draft forest reserve management plans, one for Pūpūkea Forest Reserve on the island of O‘ahu, and the other for Kula Forest Reserve and the Papa‘anui Tract of Kahikinui Forest Reserve on the island of Maui. Draft plans will be posted online at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/frs/reserves/management-plans/. Please submit written comments by July 31, 2017 to Jan Pali, Forestry and Watershed Planner via email at Jan.N.Pali@hawaii.gov

With 75,000 acres of Hawai‘i island ʻōhiʻa forest now showing symptoms of the fungal disease known as Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death, federal and state agencies and non-profit partners are using an array of high technology to detect its spread. “The battle against the two types of Ceratocystis fungus that causes Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death has always been a hugely collaborative effort,” said Rob Hauff, State Protection Forester for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). “Now,” Hauff explained, “the collaboration between the agencies and organizations engaged in the fight against this devastating disease not only continues, but is expanding, particularly on the detection front.” Early detection is considered critical in helping to identify Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death’s spread on the Big Island and to other islands and to provide data and scientific information to aide researchers working hard to find a way to stop it.

During a ceremony here today, Noah Gomes was honored with the second DLNR Citizen Conservationist award. Gomes, a Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park ranger is known here as someone who perpetuates Hawaiian culture in his interactions with visitors and always demonstrates the spirit of Aloha.

A north shore wildfire burning uphill today toward the state Mokule‘ia Forest Reserve and Pahole Natural Area Reserve may put significant natural resources and endangered species at risk. A crew of 14 DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) firefighters with two water tank trucks and helicopter dip tanks has responded to a fire in the Mokule‘ia area, located east of the Mokuleia Forest Reserve access road and west of Kaala road. The Honolulu Fire Department and Honolulu Police Department personnel are is on scene with two helicopters doing water drops. DOFAW has contracted two type 3 helicopters and a type 1 helicopter for water drops.

For more than 100 years there has been no known Hawaiian name for the endangered forest bird now commonly called the Hawaiʻi Creeper (Loxops mana). But Noah Gomes, a recent graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo with a masters degree in Hawaiian language and literature, recently put forth convincing evidence that he had rediscovered the true Hawaiian name for this species. Today, Hawaiian researchers, wildlife managers and elected representatives joined in a naming ceremony to honor this distinctive bird, in the Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR) where the ‘Alawī resides.