State looking to expand forest reserve on Hawai‘i Island

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The state is seeking public input on expanding forest reserve on Hawai‘i Island. The Hawaiʻi Forest Reserve System is looking at two new parcels containing 7,200 acres, one in Hilo and the other in Ka‘ū.

The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife invites comment on the proposed additions at a community hearing it will host on March 28. DOFAW manages the Forest Reserve System to provide a variety of benefits including recreational and hunting opportunities, watershed restoration, cultural resource preservation, and habitat protection for threatened and endangered native species.

The first proposed addition, 162 acres in north Hawaiʻi adjacent to the Manowaialeʻe and Hilo Forest Reserves, includes a koa seed bank with potential for restoration. The property location also enables public access and opportunity for reforestation activities.

The second addition is located in the Ka‘ū District, currently leased for pasture purposes. The proposed action will subdivide the parcel adding approximately 7,042 acres covered by intact native koa and ʻōhiʻa forest to the Kapāpala Forest Reserve. The remaining 15,684 acres of the lease will be set aside to the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.


The meeting will be held at the DOFAW Hilo Office conference room, 19 E. Kawili St., at 5:30 p.m.

Testimony can be provided online or in-person at the community hearing, and by mail or email. If you require auxiliary aid or service (large print materials or sign language interpreter), request assistance at least 10 working days before March 28 at [email protected] or by calling 808-587-4166. To attend online, please contact forestry staff at the email provided at least 24 hours before the hearing to receive a Zoom link.

Persons unable to attend or wishing to present additional comments can email to the above address or mail written testimony, postmarked no later than April 5 to Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Attn: Forestry Program Manager, 1151 Punchbowl St., #325, Honolulu, HI 96813.



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