Natural Area Reserves

(LIHU‘E)— To reduce the risk of fires in the Pu‘u Ka Pele Forest Reserve on Kaua‘i, the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife ( DOFAW) is proposing forest thinning and fire break maintenance. Community members are invited to provide input on the proposed efforts via a virtual public meeting. This meeting will be at 9:00am on December 1, 2020. In addition to gathering people’s input, this meeting is intended to address questions or concerns regarding this project.

(Honolulu) – A roughly 1,260-acre parcel in Waiea, on Hawai‘i island is being proposed as an addition to the Hawai‘i Natural Area Reserve (NAR) System. The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will hold a virtual hearing at 6:00 p.m. on November 30, 2020 to receive community testimony about this proposal. The area is contiguous to other land parcels that are under management for forest, wildlife, and water conservation, and its addition would strengthen native ecosystem protection in the South Kona area.

(Kahului, Maui) – An anonymous donor is providing more than $1 million in funding to the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program on Maui. Most of the funding will support the planning, design, and construction of hiking trails in the recently acquired Kamehamenui Forest in upcountry Maui.  

 (LIHU‘E) –The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will soon begin constructing a fence in the upper Honopu Valley. The purpose of this fence is to remove hooved animals that are damaging federally listed threatened and endangered plants and seabirds occurring in this forested area. The fence will contain step-through gates to allow public access into fenced areas. The attached map outlines the approximate location of the 250-acre fence. Construction will be ongoing due to weather and varying field conditions but is expected to begin in October 2020 and be completed by March 2021.

(Honolulu) – To mirror the County of Hawaiʻiʻs latest Emergency Order closing all county beach parks, the DLNR Division of State Parks is also continuing the closures of all Big Island coastal and beach park areas that has been effective since Friday, September 4 continuing through September 30. This effort is aimed at preventing large unauthorized gatherings and suppressing the increasing spread of COVID-19. At all affected parks, gates will remain locked and parking lots will be closed.   

(Wailea) – Starting October 1st, 2020, ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve will charge non-Hawai‘i residents a user-fee of $5.00 per vehicle. Two machines in the reserve’s parking lot accept credit or debit cards and produce the receipts that must be displayed on their dashboard while using the area. Use-fees paid by visitors will pay for infrastructure costs or projects that protect the reserve’s unique natural resources. Hawai‘i residents will not be charged but must still display a daily pass that will be generated from the same machines.

(Kula, Maui) – A recent land acquisition protects the Kula water aquifer, habitat for endangered species, and community-based forest restoration opportunities. These lands are now protected in perpetuity thanks to federal, state, and non-profit partners. 

(Hilo) – Last weekend an estimated 100 people gathered at the J7 ranch to get in streams and waterfalls above the ranch.    The waterways above the J7 (Wailuku River, Hookelekele Stream, Lauiole Falls, Pukamaui Falls and Kauwehu Falls) are collectively known as “Narnia”, and  are part of the Hilo Restricted Watershed Section of the Hilo Forest Reserve.  

(Honolulu) – Students across Hawai’i were invited to engage with kupuna as part of an essay content inspired by the 50th anniversary of International Earth Day. The contest was offered by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) for all high school students in the state as a way to explore change in Hawai’i.

  (Honolulu) – As more and more restrictions on outdoor activities are being lifted, many people are returning to Hawai‘i’s forests to hike, hunt, and to participate in other recreational activities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, additional infections of the fungal disease known as Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death have occurred.

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