Kanepuu Preserve, Hawaii

The Kanepuu Preserve Hawaii is located on the one of the western plateau's of this island paradise and is just a way off from the Garden of the Gods Lanai Hawaii . The plateau is dry and arid and is home to Hawaii's biggest dry land forest, extending over 590 acres in total and is home to a variety of plant species, some of which are rare including the sandalwood and Hawaii gardenia. The Kanepuu Preserve is an indicator to what could have been - as this is the dry land forest vegetation once also grew in the lowland areas of all the Hawaiian Islands.

Lanai's Kanepuu Preserve - It was in the year 1918 when the importance of these forests came to light and action was finally taken to combat the harmful erosional effects that were ravaging much of the island's topsoil. The selfless efforts of George Munro are still recognized and talked about to this very day. For near on 30 years Munro worked to preserve the forest - eliminating wild pigs, erecting windbreaks, and fencing in natural vegetation such as the native ebony and olive trees from domesticated livestock that were taking their toll on the island. Thus was the birth of the Kanepuu Preserve. Today it is kept up and maintained by concerned members of the island community known locally as the Hui Malama Pono O Lanai. The year 1991 saw one of the biggest mile stones being crossed when the Dole Food Company gave the Nature Conservancy a long-term conservation agreement which would allow the community to carry on with reinstating the forest and guaranteeing its permanent protection.

So what is the ultimate goal? - Well with the help of the community and volunteers the long-term goal is to establish and maintain a self-perpetuating ecosystem which will not call for continued man-listed help. It is hoped that what is learnt here could be used elsewhere in the world, specifically in the Pacific area where climate conditions now exist.

Touring the Preserve

There are trail signs throughout the Preserve which are highly informative that are accessible to visitors between 09:00 and 16:00. Outside of these times it is quite possible that there maybe hunts going on so guests are warned to stay out for their own safety. It also possible to book a guided tour through the forest. Look out for the small trail that will lead visitors to the mesmerizing Garden of the Gods. For more information call the island field office on 808-565-7430.

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