KS Seeks New Lessee for Hāmākua Forestry Operations
Kamehameha Schools will conduct a search in early 2017 for a new tenant to oversee operations and harvesting of more than 10,000 acres of forest on the Hāmākua Coast of the Big Island.
“We appreciate the community’s support as we continue working to develop a post-sugarcane era forest industry,” said Marissa Harman, KS director of Asset Management for Hawaiʻi island.
LHF Lopiwa LLC, the current tenant who owns the eucalyptus plantation lease in Hilo and Hāmākua, recently notified KS that it will not seek an extension of its lease, which will expire on Dec. 31, 2016.
On Jan. 3, 2017, KS will seek qualifications from interested bidders to enter into a new agreement for the plantation forest.
Minimum desired qualifications include operators with plantation forest management experience, marketing experience, modeling experience and harvesting experience.
“Kamehameha Schools remains committed to the forest industry and the stewardship of our lands, and we will harvest the existing eucalyptus forest.” Harman said. “We envision adjustments to our forest leasing and management practices in Hāmākua in response to lessons we have learned since acquiring the former Hāmākua Sugar property in 1994, and from input and suggestions shared by the Hāmākua community. Adjustments will include some lands being re-purposed for diversified agricultural use and community use, where appropriate.”
KS dedicates more land to sustainable agriculture than any other private landowner in Hawai‘i and is deeply committed to keeping its Hāmākua lands in productive agriculture and forestry.
For more information, visit www.ksbe.edu.