Wao Kele o Puna plan approved

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On September 7, 2017, OHA’s Board of Trustees (BOT) approved a Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) for OHA’s Wao Kele o Puna (WKOP) property at their BOT meeting held in Kona. Among those in attendance were several individuals of the ʻAha Kūkā (CMP Working Group) who were recognized for their participation in the planning process for over 2- 1/2 years.

Photo: Wao Kele o Puna
At 25,856 acres, Wao Kele o Puna on Hawaiʻi Island is the largest remaining lowland wet forest in the Pae ʻĀina and OHA’s largest land asset. – Photo: Courtesy Wao Kele o Puna staff

WKOP is a 25,856 acre lowland rainforest located in the ahupuaʻa of Waiakahiula, Kaʻohe in the moku of Puna, and is OHA’s largest landholding. The CMP and its appendices contain a plethora of information including: the significance of the forest, its function, and its history; Native Hawaiian cultural context; best forest management practices; insight from members of the Puna and surrounding community; and recommendations to help guide future management of the forest. The plan considers the scale of the property and recommends that OHA: (1) work with the community; (2) protect the best; (3) kill the weeds; and (4) manage the pigs.

OHA understands that:

  • WKOP is sacred to our people and that the benefi ciaries and community of the area are committed to this resource;
  • The vision set forth in the plan will take time and resources to implement; and
  • Managing a forest of this size is a considerable undertaking, with much to be done.

The CMP sets OHA’s management direction for the property and will lead to the development of action plan(s) that will enable its implementation over time. The CMP document is in the fi nal phase of the editing process and is expected to be available via OHA’s website in the near future.