Keau'ohana Forest Reserve on the Big Island is the largest and most intact rainforest remaining below 1,000 feet in Hawai'i. FTPF is partnering with Hawai'i Environmental Restoration to protect and restore this unique ecosystem through the propagation and planting of native tree species such as the 'ohe. This precious forest is a natural treasure, and the last of its kind -- with your support, we can continue to plant native trees there for future generations to benefit from!
This forest is a unique reservoir of rare native biodiversity, and is the most optimal remaining critical habitat for the endangered ha'iwale, a relative of African violet. The dominant native canopy tree, 'ohi'a, has recently been affected by Rapid Ohia Death (ROD) causing a decline in its numbers and threatening the future of the bio-diverse understory that's in need of shade. The project will help continue to restore and protect the last native lowland (<1,000 feet) rainforest in Hawai'i.
Through collaboration with Hawai'i Environmental Restoration, which has conducted intensive restoration in the forest since 2014, FTPF will provide a number of native tree species for outplanting in the forest. Plantings such as the native 'ohe will help re-establish shade to protect the native plant communities and secure the bio-diverse nature of the forest.
Most lowland forests in Hawai'i have been lost, whereas Keau'ohana has a chance to remain a healthy native forest ecosystem, provide habitat to endangered species, and retain its essential watershed function. As the only intact lowland rainforest easily accessible to the public, this forest serves an important role in connecting people with nature, and educating students, residents and visitors about native Hawaiian species, the rainforest, and issues of preservation.