Loss of the Hawaiian Forest

The Opportunity

The Solution

Vision and Mission

Since the arrival of man in the Hawaiian Islands, over half of the native forests have been lost.  Since its inception in 2014, The Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI) has been working hard to reverse this trend and return these forests to the native landscape. Working together with community minded businesses, non-profits and individual Legacy Tree sponsors, more than 400,000 endemic trees now cover nearly 1200 acres in the state’s first Hawaiian Legacy Forest.


When you select to plant a Legacy Tree, your real contribution is that this simple act repeated by so many will create a forest.  The world is losing forest cover at an alarming rate that shows no sign of letting up.  Reversing this trend has proven a very difficult challenge.


A forest is much more than just an area filled with trees.  It is a dynamic and living entity all its own.  As a living entity, it grows and evolves over time.  Like any society of individuals, its members grow and contribute and all will eventually die, making way for new members.  This cycle of evolution molds the individual plantings into a forest.


Our commitment to the Legacy Tree sponsor is to monitor and nurture this development from a collection of individual trees into an endemic Hawaiian ecosystem supporting a diverse population of plant and animal life.  You are providing the raw materials to make this possible.


Of the many trees planted to initiate this process, some will become the stars of the forest while others will be supporting actors.  Some of the trees will die along the way and some will have to be removed for the overall health of the forest.  Our TreeTrackerTM  system allows you to check on the trees you have sponsored through the years.  If at any time you find that a tree you sponsored has died, let us know.  We will check on your tree and if it has died we will plant a new one on your behalf at our cost.  This will allow the forest to expand and evolve with you as an ongoing part of this evolution.


For at least the next 50 years of our lease, we will shepherd the Legacy Trees into a vibrant and evolving ecosystem.  Thank you for being part of this adventure.

Kukaiau Ranch has had all of these issues occur in one form or another. The land has been ranched for over 100 years and it has produced considerable amounts of Koa lumber over the years. The Koa tree inventory is very low and many trees are younger and not of the most desirable wood characteristics for the current use market. The ranch has also been subdivided into lots in the 80-200 acre size and many are currently being sold off, further degrading habitat.

In the last 6 years, HLRI has taken 1000 acres of denuded pastureland and reestablished an entire intact endemic ecosystem (the world’s first Hawaiian Legacy Forest). HLRI has planted more than 300,000 endemic trees on the Island of Hawaii and has commitments for nearly 700,000 more over the coming years–well on its way to its overall goal of planting 1.3 million trees (one for each man, woman, and child in Hawaii).

HLRI has been recognized globally for groundbreaking innovations. Through state-of-the-art technologies and proprietary forest management practices, HLRI is promoting long-term forest health, carbon sequestration, ecosystem diversity, and unparalleled data collection for research and development, all while creating green jobs for Hawaii families. HLRI also supports the efforts of more than 330 other nonprofits through the planting of Legacy Trees. Most importantly, it does all of this in a way that honors the Hawaiian culture and generates no debt to the organization.


The VISION of the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative ("HLRI") is to develop and implement innovative forest restoration models that will not only return the endemic forests to the landscape of Hawaii, but will allow these forests to be financially self-supporting both now and into the future.

The MISSION of the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative is to develop scientific, economic and ecologically sustainable models and practices that would:

* Restore and improve the Hawaiian forest to land it occupied in the past

* Allow landowners to profitably establish and maintain permanent forest on these lands

* Protect our native flora and fauna

* Sequester carbon

* Educate and entrain the general public into being part of the solution

* Recharge our watersheds

* Allow individuals and businesses an opportunity to help their favorite charities through the planting of trees

Return of the Hawaiian Forest

Click here to watch the documentary film "Founders and Visionaries: Hawaiian Legacy"

Make a Donation

Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative

PO Box 22435 Honolulu, HI 96823




Phoenix Award Winner  for Excellence in Sustainability and Conservation