FRS Permitting and Public Use

The public is generally free to enter Forest Reserves during daylight hours, unless otherwise restricted. Access permits may be required to control impacts to sensitive areas, prevent incompatible uses, regulate entry during periods of high fire danger, or authorize scientific collection of plants or animals.

The following public use permits may be obtained from the Department at the Branch Offices during normal business hours:


Type Description

Campsites may be closed due to Covid-19 concerns.

All persons, groups, organizations, or associations wishing to camp within a Forest Reserve are required to obtain a camping permit.

Camping is only allowed at official camp sites.


As of 8/11/20, collection permits on O’ahu are suspended due to Covid-19 concerns.

All persons wishing to collect forest items, such as ti leaves or bamboo, for personal or cultural use are required to obtain a collecting permit at no charge authorizing the collection in a specific area.

Collection of endangered or threatened wildlife or plants will not be permitted except as provided by Chapter §13-124 HAR.

Commercial Harvest

As of 8/11/20, commercial harvest permits on O’ahu are suspended due to Covid-19 concerns.

All persons wishing to purchase, harvest, and/or remove forest products, such as timber, seedlings, tree ferns, cinder, and lava rock are required to obtain a commercial harvest permit authorizing the use, area, and quantity of material.

Value of raw material to be harvested shall not exceed $10,000, minimum $10 processing fee.


For access to or entry into restricted forest reserve, all persons require an access permit.

All persons wishing to conduct research in a forest reserve are required to obtain an Access permit for Research.

For specific uses requirements or allowable uses under an access permit, see Branch offices.


All hunters are required to carry the appropriate hunting licenses as well as any required permits or stamps.

For specific hunting rules and regulations, see Branch offices.

Special Use

All other types of uses which are considered compatible with the functions and purposes of each individual area, facility, or unit within a forest reserve.

Such activities include but are not limited to meetings, weddings, concerts, shows, and other community events or activities and scientific collections of plants and animals.
Must be approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.


If you are interested in a commercial harvesting or collecting permit in the Forest Reserve, please fill out the permit application and return to your nearest District office.

If you are interested in obtaining an Access permit for Research please visit this webpage for more information.

Public Uses Permits available in conjunction with the Forest Reserve System are described in HAR §13-104 or Hunting Rules § 13-123. 

For hiking or multi-use trails refer to the Na Ala Hele program.

For information on volunteer opportunities please contact the DOFAW Branch Offices:

DOFAW Administrative Office
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 587-0166

Hawai‘i Branch Office
19 E. Kawali Street, Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 974-4221

Maui Nui Branch Office
685 Haleakala Hwy, Kahului, HI 96732
(808) 984-8100

O‘ahu Branch Office
2135 Makiki Heights Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 973-9778

Kaua‘i Branch Office
3060 Elwa Street, Room 306, Lihue, HI 96766
(808) 274-3433