Kamehameha Schools looks to better utilize acres in Hamakua Forest

The school is looking for an operator to harvest portions of the forest.

Kamehameha Schools looks to better utilize acres in Hamakua Forest
About 3,000 acres of eucalyptus needs to be harvested.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kamehameha Schools is in search of a reputable operator to harvest roughly 3,000 acres of eucalyptus trees in the Hamakua Forest on Hawaii Island.

The school issued a request-for-proposals in the search for an operator because the school hopes to transition the land to educational uses.

“These are areas in which we want to immediately transition to other uses such as community education programs and agricultural activities,” Marissa Harman, Director of Asset Management on Hawaii Island said. “The selected operator will be awarded a short-term license versus a long-term lease to allow us more flexibility in assessing the future of the lands in Hamakua as we work to meet the goals of our strategic plan.”

The RFP process seeks to attract oeprators with minimum, desired experience in plantation forest management, marketing and harvesting experience.

Kamehameha Schools was in talks with a previous contractor, but negotiations fell through. Now, the schools is thinking about long-term plans for the land.

“After the negotiations fell through, we decided it was a good opportunity to pause and take a deeper look at the long-term plans for Hamakua,” Harman added.“Kamehameha Schools is committed to its kuleana of responsible stewardship of these lands. We look forward to developing a post-sugarcane era industry for KS properties in Hamakua. We want to express our thanks to the community for its patience and support as we continue our work to find a forest operator.”

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