Popular trails included in state land buy to better protect native species

aiea loop trail entrance

Some of Oahu’s native forest and trail systems are now under state protection.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources recently purchased 635 acres in Kalauao Valley from Bishop Museum.

The area includes portions of the popular Aiea Loop and Ridge trails, and is home to endemic bird and plant species.

“The addition of Kalauao to the Ewa Forest Reserve will enable DLNR to protect this area in perpetuity, manage compatible recreational and educational opportunities and facilitate management actions for the recovery of threatened and endangered species and critical habitats,” said DLNR chairwoman Suzanne Case.

“Aiea Loop and Ridge trails are visited by thousands of tourists and kamaaina every year. These popular trails are also one of the few places on Oahu to see quality native forests and endemic forest birds in their native habitat,” said Division of Forestry and Wildlife administrator David Smith.

DOFAW is holding a hearing so the public can comment on the proposed addition of Kalauao to the Ewa Forest Reserve. It will take place Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the Kalanimoku Building, Land Board Conference Room 132, 1151 Punchbowl St.

Funding was provided by the State’s Legacy Land Conservation Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Land Acquisition Program.

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