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Special Activities Permits

New Special Activities Permit Online Portal


Aloha kākou, thank you for your interest in obtaining a permit from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Native Ecosystems Protection and Management (NEPM) Program and Wildlife Program. By applying for a permit or license, you are helping to mitigate potential harm and contributing to our ongoing work to learn and protect our unique species and ecosystems.

The following permit and license applications are available through this portal: 

  • Invertebrate scientific, propagation, and educational permits
  • T&E Plant collection, possession, transportation, propagation, and outplanting licenses
  • Wildlife scientific, propagation, educational and rehabilitation permits
  • NARS special-use permits
  • Combinations of the above permits and licenses

Below you can find responses to frequently asked questions, information on how to use our new application system, and specific application and reporting requirements by program area. If you have further questions, please see the referenced links, and contact information provided below.

Requests for permits should be submitted, at minimum, 90 days prior to the expected start of the proposed activity to allow sufficient time for review and processing. Incomplete applications without maps when requested) may necessitate additional processing time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

When do I need to apply for a license or permit?

Permits and licenses are issued for activities that are otherwise prohibited by the Hawaii Revised Statutes or Administrative Rules. If you are working with threatened and endangered species such as plants, invertebrates, birds, and mammals, you will need to apply for a license or permit through this portal. Any activities in the Natural Area Reserves other than recreation as a group less than 10 individuals will also need to apply for a permit. Please note that additional permits may be required by other Forestry & Wildlife Programs, DLNR Divisions, State and Federal Agencies depending on the nature of your activity. Engaging in unpermitted activities without appropriate licenses or permits can result in fines.

How long does it take to receive a permit?

On average, please allow three to six weeks for the initial review. The more extensive the request, the more time it will take for review. Reviewers will contact you when your application is under review and may make requests for additional information. Incomplete applications (including applications without maps when requested) may necessitate additional processing time. Please ensure that you can be contacted to respond to requests for information and to finalize the permit. We do not issue permits without sign-off by both parties. Please note that while most applications can be approved at the branch or administrative level, some requests may require review and approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources. We appreciate your patience around times of emergencies during which times staff may be unavailable and slow to respond.

Are applications ever denied?

Non-compliance for a previously issued permit, such as not submitting a report, providing insufficient information in the application or report, inappropriate use of Natural Area Reserves may be grounds for denial. We attempt to work with you to ensure that the activity you are proposing can be performed safely and without harm to you, other community members, our species and ecosystems.

Can my permit be revoked?

Any non-compliance with the conditions of a permit can also be grounds for revocation of a permit. Changes to participants such that unnamed persons are engaged in prohibited activities is also grounds for revocation. If you have any questions about possible changes to a permit, please contact us to determine whether an amendment is required. Any person whose permit has been revoked shall not be eligible to apply for another permit until the expiration of two years from the date of revocation.

Do I need to apply for more than one permit?

If you are applying for any one or more of the permits or licenses listed above, you will be issued one permit that covers all of these activities and these activities only. You may require an additional permit or license depending on the locations and types of activities. Please review Forestry and Wildlife’s Permits and Guidelines page to learn about other Forestry & Wildlife permits and non-DOFAW permits that may be required and related contact information. It is your responsibility to ensure that all applicable permits are held prior to the commencement of regulated activities. Each area has its own processes, review times, fees, and requirements and, as regulations or procedures may change, it is best to contact the respective offices to answer specific questions.

Can I make a change to an application that has been submitted?

Yes. Please click on Create an Application to make revisions to an application. If you have been contacted by a Forestry & Wildlife representative regarding a submitted application, we encourage you to notify them directly of any changes that you intend to make. For example, if you wish to include or change the persons named on your application, please notify your Forestry & Wildlife point of contact and they will instruct you as to what may be required. For research assistants that are handling threatened and endangered or other protected species, additional information may be required.

What if I need to make a change to a permit that has been issued?

Once an application has been issued, please notify your Forestry & Wildlife point of contact to request an amendment. They will work with you on making amendments to the permit.

Can I extend or renew my permit?

If you are in good-standing with Forestry & Wildlife regarding permits issued to date, you may choose to extend or renew your permit. Depending on the request, you may be required to submit an intermediary report and the application will go through another review. We advise that you consider resubmitting a renewal application 90 days prior to the expiration of your current permit to allow for continuous work. An application renewal can be submitted through the portal by clicking on Create an Application. Select Revise/Renew and select your current permit number to make any revisions. If you intend to make significant changes regarding your proposed activity, please create a new permit application. If you have questions, please contact your Forestry & Wildlife point of contact that issued your permit.


How to Submit an Application


  • Please use Chrome as your browser for this process.
    • Other browsers including Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge can have issues with the online forms.
  • Download the Instructions
    • Please review the instructions before you create an account and/or create an application.
    • Please have all of your necessary documents (proposals, cv’s, maps, etc.) available to help with filling out the application.
  • Create a New User Account
    • This will setup an account for you as an applicant on our system. If you are applying for another person or entity, you will be able to identify the Primary Permit Holder in the following application process. The Primary Permit Holder does not need to create a User Account.
    • You must create a user account before you can create an Application.
  • Create an Application
    • Provide the details of who will be participating in the activity, the principal permit holder, and details of the activity including where, when, how, and why you are proposing this activity. We recommend that you have all of your information gathered before starting an application. Files can be uploaded as needed.
    • You can use this form to Create or Edit an Application, to Edit your User Account information, or to Request a Renewal for your permit.
  • Forestry & Wildlife staff will receive and review your application and will contact you if there are any questions or is ready to be approved. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions regarding your application.
    • Natural Area Reserve System Permits: Jaianne Rimando
    • Activities involving native birds and bats, introduced wild birds and game animals: Jason Omick
    • Activities involving native invertebrates: Janis Matsunaga
    • Activities involving rare, threatened, or endangered plants: Matthew Keir
  • Please review your permit and all special conditions prior to signing. You may also want to review Chapters 183, 185, and 195, Hawaiʽi Revised Statutes, and any other laws applicable thereto, and all applicable Hawaiʽi Administrative Rules of DOFAW. Any infractions or misconduct will constitute grounds for revocation of the permit and possible administrative fines.
  • Provide Feedback
    • Please take a few minutes to fill out our anonymous User Feedback Survey. Mahalo.
    • Your feedback is very important to us.
    • Your feedback provides us with information about what you think as a user of our services and helps us to develop a better product.
  • Reporting
    • You may be required to submit reports as part of your permit.
    • Please click the link above to see the specific reporting requirements for the your particular permit type.
    • Use the link provided to upload your reporting documentation.
    • Please contact the applicable DOFAW Staff for any questions you may have.


How to Use Your Permit or License


  • Except for entry and access to publicly accessible trails, please have the principal permit holder contact the appropriate Forestry & Wildlife branch office to confirm the dates and times of entry well in advance of the initiation of fieldwork. Forestry & Wildlife office staff can confirm whether further notice prior to entering the field is required. Fieldwork in Hawai‘i can be hazardous and must be approached accordingly. Access to Forestry-and-Wildlife-managed lands may be denied or rescheduled for any reason, including but not limited to changes in field conditions such as hurricanes or fires. This is a safety issue and the primary reason why contact with the local Forestry & Wildlife office for that island must be made prior to beginning fieldwork. Some areas may require a key for entry and you will need to coordinate this with branch staff. Please plan ahead. 

Kauaʻi Branch

3060 Eiwa Street, Rm. 306
Līhuʻe, HI, 96766
Phone: (808) 274-3433
Fax: (808) 274-3438

Oʻahu Branch

2135 Makiki Heights Drive
Honolulu, HI, 96822
Phone: (808) 973-9778
Fax: (808) 973-9781
[email protected]

Maui Branch

685 Haleakala Hwy
Kahului, HI, 96732
Phone: (808) 984-8100
Fax: (808) 984-8114


P.O. Box 347
Kaunakakai, HI, 96748
Phone: (808) 553-1745
Fax: (808) 553-1746


P.O. Box 630661
Lānaʻi City, HI, 96748
Phone: (808) 565-7916
Fax: (808) 565-7917

Hawaiʻi Island Branch

19 E. Kawili Street
Hilo, HI, 96720
Phone: (808) 974-4221
Fax: (808) 974-4226

  • A copy of the signed permit must be carried with the permit holder(s) at all times while in the field, as either a hardcopy or a digital copy on a charged, accessible device. Please ensure that all named participants have a copy of the permit. The principal permit holder is held responsible for the actions of all named and unnamed participants engaged in specified activities. Unnamed participants engaging in prohibited activities will be grounds for revocation.
  • Among the conditions of your permit, you may be required to submit a report to Forestry & Wildlife. Please check your permit conditions and ensure that you complete any such necessary requirements. Failure to submit a report may also be grounds for revocation. Each type of activity may have its own reporting requirements. See below:

Reporting Requirements


Natural Area Reserve System (NARS)

NARS Reporting Instructions
NARS Reporting Spreadsheet
Staff Contact: Jaianne Rimando

Protected Wildlife

Wildlife Reporting Instructions/Requirements
Staff Contact: Jason Omick

Native Invertebrates

Reporting Instructions:
Invertebrate Reporting Spreadsheet
Staff Contact: Janis Matsunaga


General Permit Questions

Staff Contact: Cara Oba


Upload Your Reporting Documents