DLNR News Release – Input Sought on Addition of Nearly 100 Land Parcels to Reserve Systems and Rule Changes

Posted on Jan 5, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – DLNR is seeking comments on a proposal to protect nearly 100 unencumbered State land parcels across Hawai’i as part of the State Forest Reserves, Natural Area Reserves, and Wildlife Sanctuaries systems.   

Additionally, comment is being sought to update administrative rules associated with the Natural Area Reserves System (NARS). Both proposals are being shared online and in meetings to collect people’s input. 

The proposed parcels are State lands not currently managed for environmental protection or any particular land use. New land designations will allow the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) to protect these parcels and provide areas for conservation, preservation, recreation, and sustainable forest products. Activities on these parcels could include the protection of endangered species habitat, cultural site preservation, forest restoration, and access for hiking or hunting. 

The parcels, include over 21,000 acres of land, 18,630 acres are proposed as forest reserves, 2,192 acres for natural area reserves, and 196 acres proposed for wildlife sanctuaries.  

DOFAW is also proposing updates to administrative rules for the Natural Area Reserves System. The amendments would improve the protection of reserves by modifying prohibited activities and penalties, allowing longer-term special use permits, adjusting parking fees for non-residents, managing commercial usage similar to the Ala Hele Trails and Access program, extending the closure of areas, and restricting access to off-trail areas.

 Input from community members can be provided in multiple ways: online via the DOFAW website, via mail or in person at a DOFAW office, or at upcoming hearings. Comments are due by March 1, 2023.

Informational meetings schedule: 


In person: January 9, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Kalanimoku Building, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI,96813, Room 132 


Hawai’i Island:  

In person: January 9, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office, 19 E. Kawili Street, Hilo, HI, 96720, Conference Room 

Online: January 18, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.via Zoom

Meeting ID: 815 0847 7808; Passcode: y19hjR 




In person: January 19, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m

Kaua’i Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766, Purple Heart Conference Room 



Online: February 15, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. via Zoom

Meeting ID: 816 9683 3617; Passcode: QrVz0G 




Online: January 23, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. via Zoom (NARS Rules updates)

Meeting ID: 867 6219 3841; Passcode: W47GsY 





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Proposals, maps, online commenting, and instructions for mail-in or in-person comments: 



Media Contact:

Madison Rice

Communications Specialist

Hawai’i Dept. of Land and Natural Resources

[email protected]