Learn about Hawai‘i Forests

Hawai‘i is well known for its mild subtropical weather. Less known is the fact that Hawai‘i has climates which rival the harshest places on earth. From alpine snow to desert-like sand, America’s 50th State has it all.

Hawaii’s magnificent forests present endless opportunities, both for residents and for visitors. For residents, the forests offer employment, recreation, and vital resources such as water, wildlife, and wood. Perhaps less obvious, but just as important, are the myriad of organisms which make up the forest ecosystem – insects, ferns, and mushrooms to name a few. Additionally, Hawaii’s forests provide many with a cultural heritage and spiritual renewal that can be difficult to comprehend, much less quantify. Visitors are encouraged to explore the wonders of Hawaii’s unique forests to gain a rich appreciation for the vast biodiversity found in the islands.

Maintaining healthy forests in Hawai‘i is a crucial mission. Throughout history, our forests have changed, especially since the arrival of humans. Forest management is the key to their survival, and preserving diverse species can not only help a forest survive, but also create employment for many. Hawaii’s forests are unique in that many of our native species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. And while a great number of the plants are native to Hawai‘i, there are also a wide variety that have been introduced from other parts of the world.

Alakai Swamp Trail, Kokee, Kauai, Hawaii. Courtesy of Dr. J.B. Friday.

Alakai Swamp Trail, Kokee, Kauai, Hawai‘i.
Courtesy of Dr. J.B. Friday.