DLNR seeks public input on Hawaiʻi's only designated koa canoe forest
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking public input on a plan to protect Hawaiʻi's only designated koa canoe forest.
The Kapāpala Koa Canoe Management Area on Hawaiʻi Island consists of 1,257 acres of land and is located on the southeastern slopes of Maunaloa. The land ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 feet in elevation and is covered almost entirely with native koa and ʻōhiʻa trees.
The area was first designated for koa conservation in 1989, when the Board of Land and Natural Resources approved it for commercial koa timber production.
Within the 10 years that followed, agencies refined the title to specify that the area be used specifically for the cultivation of koa canoe logs.
The proposed preservation plan has a lifespan of 100 years, with official check-ins every 10 years. It outlines strategies to mitigate environmental threats such as climate change and invasive species, as well as plans on how timber harvesting will be regulated.
DLNR hosted a public meeting in April at the Kaʻū District Gym in Pāhala, where officials presented their ideas for the plan.
The draft is now available to the public for input until June 7. DLNR has also released an interactive digital mapping system for users.
To submit comments on the plan, the public can email email@example.com or send a letter to the forestry program manager at 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813.