Expansion/Addition to Natural Area Reserve System on Oʻahu

Expansion/Addition to Natural Area Reserve System on Oʻahu

Posted on Mar 16, 2021
The Department of Land and Natural Resources provided the following press release on March 15, 2021. The original post can be found at https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/blog/2021/03/15/nr21-053/
News Release

For Immediate News Release: March 15, 2021


 Input sought on proposed designation for native ecosystem protection

To view video please click on photo or view at this link: https://vimeo.com/519744938

(HONOLULU) – An extension of the Ka‘ena Point Natural Area Reserve and the addition of Pia Valley in east O‘ahu, to the state’s Natural Area Reserves (NAR) System are on the table for input from people in March.

The NAR System, a program of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), seeks to keep native ecosystems as intact as possible to preserve Hawaii’s natural heritage.

On the northwestern point of Oʻahu, a three-quarter acre parcel is being considered as an extension to the Kaʻena Point NAR. This area was donated to the DLNR by the Tom Family with assistance from the North Shore Community Land Trust.  A roughly 300-acre parcel at Pia, located in east Honolulu, is being proposed as a new NAR. This area was recently donated to the DLNR by landowner Patricia Godfrey.

The addition of the parcel into the Kaʻena Point NAR would ensure the protection of a unique cove, which is an important resting area for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. It also includes numerous tidepools, diverse intertidal flora & fauna, and rare coastal sand dunes. This area is northeast of the existing Kaʻena Point NAR, approximately two miles from the end of the paved road, at the end of Farrington Highway.

The inclusion of the 300-acre Pia parcel into the NAR system would set aside the valley for native forest protection. This unique forest is home to birds, insects, and plants that are extremely rare, and found nowhere else in the world. These native Hawaiian forests absorb rain, provide life-giving water for people and help reduce erosion on beaches and reefs. The proposed NAR is mauka (upland) of the Hawaiʻi Loa and Niu Valley subdivisions, up to the Koʻolau crest in the Hawaiʻi Kai region.

The western boundary of the property roughly follows the Hawaiʻi Loa trail, managed by the DLNR Na Ala Hele system. Natural Area Reserves are open for hiking and nature study.

DLNR will hold a virtual hearing at 6:00 p.m. on March 25, 2021 to receive testimony on the proposals. The virtual meeting will take place via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87005815557?pwd=OUNDaFV0MGtJWjdVWlVsYndoN3FoUT09)

People unable to attend or wishing to present additional comments may mail written testimony received no later than April 9, 2021 to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Attn: Emma Yuen, 1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 325, Honolulu HI, 96813, or via email to [email protected]. Copies of the nomination and a map of the area are available for inspection by contacting the address above or at the links below. Anyone may testify or present information at the hearing. If you need auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter), please request assistance 10 working days prior to the date of the hearing by calling (808) 587-4170.  

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Kaʻena NAR extension proposal:


Pia Valley NAR addition proposal:


Media Contact:

Dan Dennison
Senior Communications Manager
Phone: 587-0396
[email protected]

Additional photos provided by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife:

Cove and beach in proposed NAR Extension, facing north.

‘Ōhi’a and uluhe-dominated vegetation at the proposed Pia Natural Area Reserve.