Forest Reserve Access Permit for Research

Forest Reserve Access Permit for Research

The Forest Reserve System (FRS) accounts for over 678,612 acres of state managed land. Below is an interactive map that shows the forest reserve boundaries, trails, roads, and other pertinent information.  Additional information about the FRS are available at this webpage. The Forest Reserve System is managed under the guidance of Chapters 183, 185, and 195, Hawaiʽi Revised Statutes, as amended, and any other laws applicable thereto, and all Hawaiʽi Administrative Rules of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). Click here to download Research Permit Application, after reading the instructions below.

Additional data-sets appear on the map when you zoom in.  


Forest Reserve Research Permit Application Guidelines: 

  • This permit and application process is for research in the Forest Reserve System only.
  • A completed application must be submitted to each District Office that you are proposing to conduct research. Contact information for each District Office is listed below.
  • Effective January 16, 2021, a research permit processing fee of $50 must be submitted with each application  pursuant to HAR §13-104-30.
  • Ensure that all research locations contained within this applications are located within a forest reserve.
  • Applicants may be required to obtain more than one permit depending on the types and scope of activities being proposed.
  • It is the the applicant’s sole responsibility to ensure that all applicable permits are held prior to commencement of regulated activities. Visit our general permit guideline webpage for information on other frequently issued permits
  • If any threatened and endangered species permits are required for your project you must obtain those first and attach them you application.
  • Requests for permits should be submitted at minimum, 90 days prior to the expected start of field work, to allow sufficient time for review and processing.
  • Incomplete applications can result in delays in issuance or denial of permit.
  • Attaching a detailed map of proposed activity and logistical information is required.
  • Spatial information for trails, forest reserves, roads, etc. are available online at the State Geospatial Data Portal
  • Location information can also be submitted on USGS topo maps (use scale 1:24,000 only).
  • Field work in Hawai‘i can be hazardous and must be approached accordingly.
  • A safety plan (communication and emergency response plan) must be attached to your application if there is use of a helicopter and/or camping overnight.

Instruction for Permit Holders:

  • Permit holders must check-in with the appropriate DOFAW District office prior to the initiation of field work. Contact information is below.
  • Access to DOFAW managed lands may be denied or rescheduled at any time, possible reasons include including hurricanes, wild fires, and the like.
  • The signed permit must be carried with the permit holder(s) at all times during field work.
  • Review Chapters 183, 185, and 195, Hawaiʽi Revised Statutes, as amended, and any other laws applicable thereto, and all applicable Hawaiʽi Administrative Rules of DOFAW.
  • Any infractions or misconduct will constitute grounds for revocation of this permit and possible administrative fines.
  • 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.

Division of Forestry and Wildlife District/Island Offices:

Kaua‘i District:
3060 Eiwa Street, Room 306, Lihue, Hawaii 96766
Phone: (808) 274-3433; fax: (808) 274-3438

O‘ahu District:
2135 Makiki Heights Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Phone: (808) 973-9778; fax: (808) 973-9781

Maui District (includes Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lāna‘i):
685 Haleakala Hwy., Kahului, Hawaii 96732
Phone: (808) 984-8100; fax: (808) 984-8111

Hawai‘i District:
19 East Kawili Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Phone: (808) 974-4221; fax (808) 974-4226

Click here to download Research Permit Application