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HLT: Hawaiʻi Land Trust

Hawaiʻi Land Trust is currently working with the communities of Kohala, and Nā Kālai Waʻa, the stewards of Koʻa Heiau Holomoana to ensure that the lands of Mahukona remain an active place of Hawaiian cultural practice.  Hawaiʻi Island Land Trust and the current private landowner have signed an agreement for Hawaiʻi Land Trust to purchase the land.  Together with many supporters, Hawaiʻi Land Trust has raised over $12 million towards the total project need of $20 million.  This ambitious effort will forever protect Mahukonaʻs many cultural sites, view planes, ecology, and ensure the traditions of Hawaiian navigational practices at Mahukona.


Nā Kālai Waʻa strongly supports Hawaiʻi Land Trust and Nā Kālai Waʻa’s initiative to raise public and private funding in order

to purchase and permanently protect the lands of Māhukona, located along the Kohala, Hawaiʻi Island coastline, covering

642 acres and six ahupuaʻa (from south to north) Kaoma, Hihiu, Mahukona, Kamano, Kou, and Kapaʻa nui.

Nā Kālai Waʻa supports a conservation purchase and permanent protection of Māhukona for the following reasons:


  • Effectively prohibit future subdivision and development of Hawaiʻi’s agricultural lands, while protecting Kohala’s agricultural tradition of the Kohala Field System. With its prime location and agricultural and resort land use designations, the lands of Māhukona are at risk to be sold to resort and high-scale residential developers.

  • Permanently protect Māhukona’s prominent Hawaiian cultural landscape and the hundreds of ancient heiau and cultural sites still cared for by ʻohana and practitioners, while protecting the integrity and continuation of the area’s ongoing cultural and religious practices including but not limited to non-instrumental navigation and subsistence fishing practices. 

  • Protect Māhukona’s native flora and fauna habitat, including that for the endangered ʻōpeʻapeʻa (Hawaiian Hoary Bat) and Hawaiian monk seal, and other unidentified threatened, endangered or at-risk species (TER), while equally providing habitat restoration opportunities for TER species.


Nā Kālai Waʻa has been blessed to access the historical sites identified at Mahukona.  Koʻa Holomoana Heiau is a navigational heiau located at Mahukona that has become a significant launching site for long voyages for Makaliʻi and other canoe.  It is significant in that it marks the beginning and end of each of our voyages.  Nā Kālai Waʻa is dedicated to our continued stewardship of the lands at Mahukona, to the traditional practices of open ocean voyaging and to the significant area of Mahukona and all that it teaches us.

For more information about Hawaiʻi Land Trust (HILT) and the efforts to protect Māhukona 

please visit

(photo & video from

  • Successfully complete a portion of the conservation corridor, connecting the protection of Lapakahi State Historical Park to the south to the County’s Kapaʻa Beach Park to the north, effectively contributing to the Kohala community’s vision for a conservation corridor and protection of scenic view planes as outlined in the North Kohala Community Development Plan.

  • Ensure the integrity and health of Māhukona’s

        ocean resources, including endemic and

        endangered marine species.

  • The use of public funds for the protection of Māhukona is a proactive opportunity for the County and State to uphold their constitutional obligations

       to protect Native Hawaiian subsistence, cultural, and 

       religious practices, and Public Trust resources.

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