We are currently having difficulties with this site. All applications and forms here in are outdated. Please email SM.FS.hetf@usda.gov to request the most current versions of HETF forms.

Who We Are

The Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest (HETF) was established in 2007 and includes two Units: the Laupahoehoe Wet Forest, totaling 12,343 acres (4,990 ha), and the Puu Waawaa Dry Forest, totaling 38,885 acres (15,736 ha). The HETF is part of a network of USFS Experimental Forest and Range units across the United States.

The HETF overlays existing State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) managed lands and include the following land designations: Forest Reserve and Natural Area Reserve in Laupahoehoe and Wildlife Sanctuary (Forest Bird Sanctuary), Forest Reserve and State Parks in Puu Waawaa. The USDA Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Southwest Research Station in Hilo, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry (IPIF), works with the DLNR - Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and State Parks to cooperatively manage research and education activities within the HETF.


The HETF's mission is to provide landscapes, facilities, and data/information to support research and education activities contributing to a better understanding of how to conserve and manage the biological diversity and functioning of tropical forest and stream ecosystems as well as to understand the human dimensions of natural resources conservation and management.

The HETF represents a significant contribution in the global effort to understand and protect some of the most threatened and endangered ecosystems in the world. This can be accomplished in the following ways: facilitating research by providing research areas, facilities and information; fostering an environment for interaction and the exchange of information among scientists and to those outside the scientific community, and providing education and demonstration opportunities for those interested in tropical forest studies and management.


Draft Puu Waawaa Environmental Assessment

The Draft EA for Puu Waawaa was released on August 23, 2016 and can be viewed here.

2015 HETF Annual Report

The HETF annual report provides an overview of HETF research and community engagement activities. View the recently released 2015 annual report here.

Draft Laupahoehoe Forest Natural Resources Management Plan & Environmental Assessment (EA)

To date, DOFAW and the USFS have solicited feedback on plan focal areas such as research, education, public access, and infrastructure from the Laupahoehoe Advisory Council (LAC) during their regularly scheduled public meetings. Together the DOFAW, USFS, and LAC have had 11 public meetings between 2012-2014, during which the management plan was developed and discussed. A joint state-federal EA is in progress.

  • The Final EA was released on June 23, 2016 and is available in the Hawaii Environmental Notice here. Please note the file is large and will take several minutes to load.
  • The Draft EA was released on March 8, 2016 and is available here.
  • A public draft management plan was released in April 2015; view the draft management plan here.
  • The preconsultation or scoping letter was released on Oct 12, 2015 and can be viewed here.

  • Proposed Puu Waawaa Facility Construction Project

    The Forest Service announces plans to construct environmentally low-impact facilities that will support the fundamental land management needs within the Puu Waawaa Unit of the HETF.

  • Project details and requests for comments are available in the pre-consultation or scoping letter released on January 4, 2016 requesting comments on the proposed project, viewable here.

  • Now Accepting Applications for Advisory Councils

    See media announcement here. If you are interested in applying for an open advisory council seat please click on the appropriate link below. Submittal instructions are included on the application. All applicants should have an appropriate background in the vacant category area as well as an interest in representing community stakeholders related to their respective categories.

    Open seats for Laupahoehoe Advisory Council: Cultural Resources, Natural Resource Management, Recreation, Education, Lauphoehoe Community, Hawaii Community at Large, and Scientific Research.
    Open seats for Puu Waawaa Advisory Council: Hui Ohana mai Puu Anahulu a me Puu Waawaa representative.


    Laupahoehoe Advisory Council (LAC)

    LAC Meetings: are held from 6-8 pm @ the Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School Cafeteria. The meeting format includes a public comment period after scheduled agenda topics, as well as a 'new business' public comment period at the end of the meeting.

    Remaining 2018 LAC Meeting Dates: December 5, 2018.

    2019 LAC Meeting Dates: March 5; June 5; September 4; and December 4.

    About the LAC: Formed in December 2010, the purpose of the LAC is to provide the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and the US Forest Service (USFS) guidance and consultation relating to management, research, and other activities within the State lands that comprise the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest (HETF). The LAC's mission statement: Within our Hawaiian Culture establish community support in the development of strategies for the long-term management, protection and utilization of existing and potential forest resources.

    Visit the LAC's website to learn more.

    Puu Waawaa Advisory Council (PAC)

    PAC Meetings: are held from 3-5 pm @ Puu Waawaa Lakehouse. The meeting format includes a public comment period after scheduled agenda topics, as well as a 'new business' public comment period at the end of the meeting.

    2019 PAC Meeting Dates: TBA

    About the PAC: The PAC was formed in June 2002 to function in a consultative capacity with Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) staff involved in planning efforts for Puu Waawaa. The PAC is comprised of community members, who represent a wide range of expertise and interests.


    Hawaii Permanent Plot Network (HIPPNET)
    The HIPPNET program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), has established two of ten statewide large (4 ha), permanent research plots in the HETF, one each at Laupahoehoe and Puu Waawaa. HIPPNET plots and monitoring methods are designed to complement the network of long-term tropical forest research plots established by the Smithsonian Institute's Center for Tropical Forest Science.

    Experimental Forest and Range Synthesis Network (EFR)
    The HETF has been selected as a site for the USDA Forest Service's Experimental Forest and Range Synthesis Network, one of 18 sites nationwide. The EFR Synthesis Network will serve as a platform to conduct research at a national and trans-national levels, addressing environmental issues including changing climate, atmospheric chemistry, and invasive organisms.

    HETF acts in partnership with the following oganizations:

    Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources
    Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife
    Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
    USDA Forest Service

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