HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly 2,900 acres of forest and fallow land in Central Oahu have been purchased from Dole Food Company to preserve it and bolster recreational opportunities in the area.
The $15 million purchase was contributed by a number of partners, including the state, federal government and private organizations.
The state said the Helemano Wilderness Project is designed to protect Central Oahu’s aquifer and improve habitats for native species, many of which are endangered.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said it will work with the community to develop a management plan for the property. It will also work to control invasive species on mountainous portions of the property.
“These areas of Helemano and upper Wahiawā, sitting at the foothills of the Koolau mountains, combine native forest, watersheds, and good soils in an accessible central location to create an ideal setting to support our communities’ physical and spiritual sustenance,” said DLNR Chairwoman Suzanne Case, in a news release.
"We are excited to add these lands to the public trust inventory managed by the department for the people of Hawaii.”
Funding for the $15 million purchase was made available through contributions from:
- U.S.D.A. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program ($5 million)
- Navy Region Hawaii Encroachment Partnering Program ($3.5 million)
- Kawailoa Wind, LLC ($2.75 million)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Conservation Planning Acquisition ($2 million)
- State of Hawaii Legacy Land Conservation Program ($1,5 million)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pittman-Robertson Fund ($400,000)