02/21/18 – DLNR Holds Public Hearing On Proposed Changes To State Forest Reserve Lands On Kauaʻi

Posted on Feb 21, 2018 in News Releases

News Release


For Immediate News Release February 21, 2018



LĪHU‘E – Two proposed changes to state forest reserve lands on Kauaʻi are the subject of a public hearing on Wednesday, February 28 at 6 p.m. at the Līhu‘e state office building, 2nd floor conference rooms A, B, and C, at 3060 ‘Eiwa Street.


The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife is inviting community comments on the following two proposed changes:


The first change is the addition of approximately 163.842 acres to the Līhu‘e-Kōloa state forest reserve, that would provide legal public and management access to a landlocked portion of the forest reserve.


The Līhu‘e-Kōloa state forest reserve was established in 1909, and encompasses 12,500 acres.  It was created for watershed protection, and comprises two geographically distinct sections.  The larger section is situated primarily in the district of Līhu‘e, and the smaller section in the district of Kōloa.  This section of the forest reserve is currently landlocked with no established legal access.  The parcel being proposed for addition is currently unencumbered state land located directly south of, and adjacent to the smaller Kōloa unit. The proposed land addition contains an existing dirt road that traverses much of the parcel, ending very close to the existing forest reserve boundary, and accessible from a public county roadway.


The second proposed change is the withdrawal of approximately 1,467 square feet from the Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve



  • In 2001, the Board of Land and Natural Resources (Land Board) approved a set-aside to DOFAW of approximately 52 acres for addition to Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve to establish a public shooting range at Hanahanapuni Crater.  
  • In 2008, the Land Board then approved a set-aside of approximately 5,963.972 acres to the Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC), for agricultural purposes, which included the aforementioned 52 acres.   
  • In 2010, the Governor signed Executive Order (EO) No. 4328, finalizing the land transfer to ADC.  At that time the set-aside to DOFAW adding 52 acres to the forest reserve had not been completed, as it was pending the completion of a survey and subdivision approval by the County.  An agreement was reached between DOFAW and ADC, that once the survey and subdivision was completed, the area in question would be withdrawn from the set-aside to ADC and added to Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve.
  • In 2015, the Kaua‘i County Planning Commission approved the subdivision and reconsolidation necessary to complete transfer of land to DOFAW.  The subdivision survey data was sent to the Department of Accounting and General Services Land Survey Office to generate maps for the EOs.  After analysis of the data, the Land Survey Office identified a minor discrepancy in the subdivision that resulted in the unintentional inclusion of 1,467 square feet of Līhu‘e-Kōloa Forest Reserve into TMK (4) 3-9-002:001, which is to remain under the jurisdiction of ADC.
  • DOFAW was advised by the Land Survey Office that the best course of action to would be to withdraw the 1,467 square feet from the forest reserve, followed by a subsequent set-aside to ADC; hence the requested change.  All other alternatives would require additional surveys and subdivision approval, a more expensive and less efficient outcome.


All interested persons are invited to attend the public hearing to present relevant information and individual opinions for the DLNR to consider.  Persons unable to attend or wishing to present additional comments may mail written testimony postmarked no later than March 14, 2018, to the Forestry Program Manager, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl St., #325, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96813.


Any person requesting an auxiliary aid or service (i.e. large print materials, sign language interpreters) is asked to contact Jan Pali at (808) 587-4166 or through the Telecommunication Relay Service at 711 by February 22, 2018.


After compiling the input from the public hearing and other testimonies received through March 14, 2018, DOFAW will present a summary of public testimony, staff analyses and recommendations for further actions to the BLNR.  Based on public testimony received, the Land Board will decide whether to proceed with or change their previous recommendation for the proposed revisions to the forest reserve system. 


Should the BLNR opt to proceed with the current recommendations, DLNR will send the items to the Governor for final approval via Executive Order.  If approved, the lands would be formally added to, or withdrawn from state forest reserve status; subject to Legislative approval.  For lands added to the Forest Reserve System, the DOFAW Forestry Program would assume primary responsibility for the management and stewardship of the subject lands.


# # #

Media contact:

Deborah Ward
DLNR Communications Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320