Breaking! A Generous Donor Protects 300 Acres Of South Oahu’s Rainforest To Save Native Species In Hawaii

A 300-acre parcel of rainforest in the southern Ko‘olau mountains in Oahu will now be protected indefinitely, due to a generous donation by a compassionate landowner in the Pia Valley. The Hawaiian Department of Land and Resources (DLNR) announced that Patricia Godfrey gifted the irreplaceable rainforest land to protect Hawaii’s native species.

Expected to be called the Pia Natural Area Reserve (NAR), the donation removes the land from private hands and makes it public land managed by the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). The new reserve will most-likely be accessible by foot and could be visited for recreational uses, hiking, and education.

“We hope to make this beautiful area even better by actively managing the ecosystem for native plants, birds, and animals,” DOFAW Oahu botanist, Susan Ching, said in a statement.

The land extends the summit ridge of the Ko‘olau and encompasses upper portions of Pia valley, directly upland of the Hawai‘iloa and Niu Valley subdivisions.

“This will leave an incredible legacy,” noted Christopher Miller, DOFAW’S Oahu NAR Manager. “As a Natural Area Reserve, we will strive to keep the native forest as intact as possible.”

On a recent trip up the trail and overlooking the Pia Valley, DOFAW Watershed Planner Katie Ersbak said, “The rare, threatened, and endangered species that occupy this valley are why we were very interested in protecting it. As others have commented, we hope to bring it into the Natural Area Reserve system, which is a special designation for places high in biological diversity, which has rare species in native forests, and watershed recharge value as well.”

“I am delighted to have been able to play a part in securing the future of Pia Valley as a protected wilderness,” said Godfrey. “On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank our state conservationists and all who protect and defend our vital wild lands and the sanctuary they provide for their plant and animal inhabitants.“

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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