Becoming A Natural Area Partner

Becoming A Natural Area Partner

If you are interested in proposing your land for the Natural Area Partnership Program please read the information below on eligibility.

Note that in addition to matching fund requirements the NAPP generally requires the land be protected by a Conservation Easement. There are various sources of information on Conservation Easements online, and organizations such as land trusts can also provide information. Land Trust organizations are active in Hawai‘i, with some focused on individual locations or islands, and others statewide. Before proposing a NAPP project, please research whether the conservation easement requirement, as well as the matching funds requirement can be met.

How do I know if my land qualifies for the NAPP?

A few of Hawai‘i’s endangered species are easy to recognize -the Hawaiian Hawk, or I‘o is a good example. At least one type of geological feature that often is home to rare ecosystems are lava tubes and caves. However, not all lava tubes are home to rare natural communities and not all places that an I‘o is seen represent an intact native habitat. In order to identify what types of species or ecosystems exist on a parcel, landowners depend upon two sources: historic records and the services of a professional consulting biologist.

It is possible to look in libraries and in other areas for sources of historic information on what might exist on a particular parcel of land. Another way to find out about what your land might harbor is to hire a consulting biologist to survey your property. Prices vary, as does the quality of the work that is done. Often having a respected, locally trained biologist survey your property will give you the most complete and reliable overview of what is on your property. Reputable biologists can frequently be found connected with major research institutions or organizations in the state.

What are the other requirements of the program?

In order to qualify under this program, the applicant shall be a landowner or a cooperating entity of private lands of Natural Area Reserve quality. A cooperating entity is a “private non-profit land holding organization or any other body deemed by the DLNR as satisfactorily able to assist in the identification, acquisition, and management of natural area reserves.”

Other program conditions include:

  1. dedication of the private lands in perpetuity through a transfer of fee title or a conservation easement to the State or a cooperating entity
  2. management of the private lands by a cooperating entity or landowner according to management plans approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources

In-kind services such as heavy equipment and existing sources of labor may be utilized as a portion of the private contribution in implementing the management plan.
DLNR has established a three step process for project funding and implementation:

  1. First, the applicant should submit a preliminary proposal that indicates the intent and nature of the natural area management considered.
  2. From these proposals, the State Natural Area Reserves System (NARS) Commission may request detailed management plans for projects that are eligible for matching funds. Selection criteria include importance of the resources protected, feasibility of project accomplishment, public benefits, availability of funds, and partnerships with other organizations.
  3. From the detailed management plans, the Board of Land and Natural Resources, with advice from the NARS Commission, will determine final funding levels for project implementation.

If you have read through the eligibility information above and believe you qualify, please fill out the Preliminary Proposal. You may refer to the Sample Proposal for guidance when filling out the form.

Send Preliminary Proposal to:

Executive Secretary
Natural Area Reserve System Commission
1151 Punchbowl St. Rm. 325
Honolulu, HI 96813

For any questions call:

  • Native Ecosystems Program Manager at (808) 587-0054
  • Natural Area Reserves System Commission Exectutive Secretary at (808) 587-0063