Forest Legacy Projects

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2013

Ka‘awaloa Hawaiian Forest Conservation
Easement, 1,000 acres-
funded

The Ka‘awaloa Hawaiian Forest (KHF) conservation easement is located on
the slopes of Mauna Loa Volcano and will protect an internationally significant
1,000−acre remnant of rare native rainforest that has remained principally
intact since the mid−1800s. It will also connect the adjacent 9000−acre Kealakekua
Heritage Ranch Forest Legacy Project (FLP) CE and the State’s Onouli Forest;
completing a vast area of uninterrupted charitable trust, protected private,
and public lands extending 50+ miles to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (HAVO).
This conservation easement will also preserve habitat for federally threatened
and endangered fauna, including bird species of global concern and safeguard
water quality in the primary watershed draining directly into Kealakekua Bay,
one of Hawai‘i’s most significant marine conservation areas and the historical site
of Hawaiian kings and Western explorers.

Recoup the Loop Conservation Easement, 635 acres- pending

The fee simple purchase of 635 acres in Kalauao Valley will protect a
significant Honolulu watershed, a native Hawaiian forest, several endangered
species, and public access to a highly used recreational area. Twelve minutes
from the center of Honolulu, Kalauao’s ability to support a healthy functioning
watershed, high traffic of hikers, and still be a haven for threatened and
endangered plants and animals are what makes Kalauao a unique place and an
important area to protect in perpetuity. The valley is divided by Kalauao
Stream with the southeast section of the property for sale by Bishop Museum.
The parcel is dominated by native forest and shrubland habitats ranging from
wet to mesic at elevations from 443−2746 ft.The goal of this acquisition is to
add the property to the State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources’
(DLNR) conservation land inventory and redesignate it as a Natural Area Reserve
(NAR) or Forest Reserve (FR) under the management of the Division of Forestry
and Wildlife (DOFAW). The redesignation will offer extra protection while
maintaining its recreational value. The land will be managed for watershed
protection, native species habitat, endangered species recovery, and
recreational opportunities.

 

2012

Kukaiau Koa Forest Conservation Easement, 3,830 acres – funded

This conservation easement project is located on
a portion of the Kukaiau Ranch on the North slope of Mauna
Kea, which has been a working forest and ranch since 1885. The current
landowners are actively demonstrating how degraded forest/ranch lands can be
returned to a productive forestry operation. The area has historically supported
large stands of two dominant native tree species, koa and ohia, before being converted
for cattle ranching. The Ranch’s plan is to discontinue cattle ranching and
restore this productive land to a managed koa forest that includes habitat for other
native species. These rich soils contain a significant koa seed bank that is capable
of contributing to the goal of a 100% restoration of native forest trees. The
area is home to many species of native birds, several that are federally listed
species and will benefited from restoration of the Ranch. The zoning of the land
allows for development in 40 acre parcels.

 

2010

Kainalu Forest Watershed Conservation Easement, 614 acres – funded

Kainalu Forest Watershed (KFW) is a strategically located watershed on East Molokai Island. The KFW is part of 1200 acre Kainalu Ranch that represents nearly an entire watershed. The KFW parcel extends from sea level to the Wailau Valley Rim at 3400 ft, a distance of nearly three miles. The upper reaches are composed of four native forested riparian areas with amphitheater intakes that contribute to the Kainalu and Waialua Streams, and are home to many rare species. These forests and streams produce a large portion of the freshwater that contributes to aquifer recharge and sustains Molokai’s residents. Kainalu Ranch has been in Hawaiian hands since Polynesians landed in the islands and has been owned by the Dunbar Family for almost 100 years. The Dunbars’ vision for the Kainalu Ranch is to protect critical watershed resources that many depend upon without sacrificing vulnerable lower elevation acres to development pressures. The KFW offers a rare opportunity to preserve a large, intact area that is biologically, culturally, and functionally critical to the long-term protection of rare natural resources on Molokai that are vulnerable locally, regionally and nationally.

 

2008

Kealakekua Heritage Ranch (Phase 2) Conservation Easement, 5000 acres – funded and closed

The Kealakekua Ranch project is an approximately 9,000 acre easement acquisition on an 11,184 acre property located on the western slope of Mauna Loa in the District of South Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawai’i. The ranch is accessed at its makai (waterward) boundary at 2,200 feet above sea level, one mile from Hawai’i Belt Road (Highway 11), and then extends 10 miles inland to its mauka (mountainward) boundary at 6,200 feet above sea level. The property is bounded on its north and east sides by the North/South Kona District boundary, on the south by former McCandless Ranch/Bishop lease land and by Bishop’s Honaunau Forest Reserve, and on its west lies the town of Kealakekua. Kailua-Kona is approximately 20 miles from the property. The property contains many different forest types, including mixed open forest, closed ‘ohi’a lehua rainforest, open koa forest with mamane, and open koa forest. This forest mosaic supports a wide variety of federally listed threatened and endangered plant and animal species. The landowner is committed to donating a significant amount of the easement’s value as well as continuing the Ranch’s sustainable forestland-based economic uses.

 

2007

Kealakekua Heritage Ranch (Phase 1) Conservation Easement, 4000 acres – funded and closed

The Kealakekua Heritage Ranch project is an approximately 9,000 acre easement acquisition on an 11,184 acre property located on the western slope of Mauna Loa in the District of South Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawai’i. The ranch is accessed at its makai (waterward) boundary at 2,200 feet above sea level, one mile from Hawai’i Belt Road (Highway 11), and then extends 10 miles inland to its mauka (mountainward) boundary at 6,200 feet above sea level. The property is bounded on its north and east sides by the North/South Kona District boundary, on the south by former McCandless Ranch/Bishop lease land and by Bishop’s Honaunau Forest Reserve, and on its west lies the town of Kealakekua. Kailua-Kona is approximately 20 miles from the property. The property contains many different forest types, including mixed open forest, closed ‘ohi’a lehua rainforest, open koa forest with mamane, and open koa forest. This forest mosaic supports a wide variety of federally listed threatened and endangered plant and animal species. The landowner is committed to donating a significant amount of the easement’s value as well as continuing the Ranch’s sustainable forestland-based economic uses.

Honomalino Conservation Easement, 4022 acre – donation

The Papa and Honomalino parcels are a diverse mosaic of mid-elevation koa-`ohi `a forest stands on lava flows of different ages. These are habitat for four endemic forest bird species, the threatened Hawaiian hawk, and the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat. These parcels are a key link in the long term protection of the forests of this region and forms a Nature Conservancy preserve in the South Kona area of the Big Island. This forest system is threatened by subdivision, nonsustainable logging, grazing and weed invasion.

 

2006

Wao Kele O Puna Fee Title, 25,856 acres – funded and closed

The Wao Kele O Puna tract is composed of dense native Hawaiian forest covering over forty square miles of the Puna District on the Island of Hawai‘i. This 25,856 acre property represents one of the last large intact lowland native forests in the State of Hawai’i. This specific forest parcel serves as a critical seed bank for native forest regeneration of the barren lava flows recently covering large swaths of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) next door. Wao Kele has been the focus of controversy for over 20 years. Numerous Native Hawaiian and environmental groups opposed geothermal mining and the blocking of community access to the land. TPL has negotiated an option agreement with the private landowner, offering a rare opportunity for a fee simple conservation purchase, permanent protection of the native forest, and allowing appropriate public access once again. Forest Legacy funding will be matched by a significant donation of land value—potentially several million dollars—according to a 2003 appraisal. Because of the land value donation facilitated by TPL, the actual price of Wao Kele’s rainforest at $131 per acre—even as a fee simple acquisition—is actually lower than many conservation easement proposals.

McCandless Ranch (Kahuku Lots) Conservation Easement, 3128 acres – funded and closed

McCandless Ranch is located in the South Kona Forest Legacy Area, between 4,000 and 7,000 feet elevation, on the southwest slope of Mauna Loa. The property is dominated by a mixed canopy of large native ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha), koa (Acacia koa), and sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum). Contains some of Hawaii’s most intact remaining native forest. Recent bird surveys show that it is home to five endangered birds including the alala, or Hawaiian crow, which is found nowhere else in the world. Recent plant surveys identified 17 rare endemic plant species. A conservation easement to McCandless Ranch will ensure the long-term protection of a variety of rare, endemic forest resources while enabling the landowner to continue economic use of their property for compatible ranching, sustainable timber production and ecotourism. McCandless Ranch also lies within an “Area of Critical Concern” for watershed management by the State of Hawaii.

 

2004

Kapua Parcel Fee Title, 1800 acres – funded and closed

A diverse mosaic of mid-elevation koa-ohi a forest stands on lava flows of different ages. These are habitat for four endemic forest bird species, the threatened Hawaiian hawk, and the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat. The parcel is a key link in the long term protection of the forests of this region and abuts a Nature Conservancy preserve in the South Kona Area of the Big Island. This forest system is threatened by subdivision, nonsustainable logging, grazing and weed invasion.

 

2001

Papa Parcel Fee Title, 2249 acres – funded and closed

The Papa and Honomalino parcels are a diverse mosaic of mid-elevation koa-`ohi `a forest stands on lava flows of different ages. These are habitat for four endemic forest bird species, the threatened Hawaiian hawk, and the endangered Hawaiian hoary bat. These parcels are a key link in the long term protection of the forests of this region and forms a Nature Conservancy preserve in the South Kona area of the Big Island. This forest system is threatened by subdivision, nonsustainable logging, grazing and weed invasion.