300 acres of land in Ko’olau Mountains donated to the state for preservation

Vibrant native plants like the Ohia Lehua can be found in the valley.
Vibrant native plants like the Ohia Lehua can be found in the valley.(DLNR)
Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 10:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A generous land donation to the state will help preserve Pia Valley in East Oahu.

The DLNR says Patricia Godfrey and her family owned the rain forest near the summit of popular Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail for years. It’s a 300-acre parcel in the southern Ko’olau mountains.

Godfrey decided to transfer the property to the state in the interest of environmental protection.

“My impressions are that it is priceless, absolutely priceless. There is something that the world needs to understand: There are some lands that have to be left alone,” Godfrey said.

DLNR officials say the land is home to some priceless native plants.

“So, this is 300 acres of mostly intact native forest ... dominated by ‘ōhi’a trees, some koa trees, rare and threatened and endangered species,” Katie Ersbak, Watershed Planner of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), said. “The rare, threatened, and endangered species that occupy this valley is why we were very interested in protecting it.”

“We are very grateful to the Godfrey family for dedicating this land to the public, allowing the State to protect this watershed, which contains plants and animals known nowhere else,” DLNR Chair Suzanne Case added.

The parcel will be designated as the Pia Natural Area Reserve, and will be managed by DLNR’s DOFAW.

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