Sites and Facilities

The HETF is located on Hawaii Island and consists of two Units - the Laupahoehoe Wet Forest Unit and the Puu Waawaa Dry Forest Unit. Both Units are located on lands managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The HETF is cooperatively managed by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and the USDA Forest Service under a 35-year Cooperative Agreement establishing the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest.

Both Units include long term climate monitoring equipment as well as forest dynamics plots. The Laupahoehoe Unit also includes hydrology monitoring equipment. Facilities to support education and research activities are also available in each Unit.

Laupahoehoe Unit

Located on the windward side of the island on the slopes of Mauna Kea, this 12,343 acre (5,000 ha) Unit includes Forest Reserve (4,449 acres (1,800 ha)) and Natural Area Reserve (NAR) (7,894 acres (3,195 ha))Hawaii State land designations. It contains native-dominated forested landscapes from lowland forest at 2,300 ft (700 m) above sea level extending through four life zones to almost 6,200 ft (1,890 m) in elevation. This Unit contains magnificent examples of tropical rain forest and is the habitat of numerous endangered plant and animal species. To learn more about this Unit click here.

Puu Waawaa Unit

Located on the west (leeward) side of the island on the northern flank of Hualalai volcano, the landscape of this 38,811 acre (15,706 ha) Unit consists of tropical dry and moist forests, mixed savanna, and exotic-dominated grasslands. The Unit has an elevational range from sea-level to 6,400 ft (1,951 m). Tropical dry forests are considered among the most endangered forest types in the world. The Unit encompasses Forest Reserve (31,475 ac, 12,743 ha), Wildlife (Forest Bird) Sanctuary (3,806 ac, 1,542 ha), and State Parks (3,530 ac, 1,430 ha) Hawaii State land designations. There are approximately 74 acres (30 ha) of private in-holdings within the HETF boundaries. To learn more about this Unit click here.


Facilities to support education and research activities are also available in each Unit utilizing either HETF or State managed facilities.

Laupahoehoe - HETF support facilities for the Laupahoehoe Unit are present within the town of Laupahoehoe, outside the forest boundary. The Laupahoehoe Science and Education Center (Center) is located on 55 acres of old sugar cane lands within the Laupahoehoe community, approximately four miles from the HETF boundary. Facilities include a bunkhouse, kitchen, restrooms, and classroom/meeting space. The facility site offers opportunities for research, education, and demonstration. The Center operates on a reservation system; click here to learn more about utilizing Center facilities.

Puu Waawaa - HETF support facilities for Puu Waawaa are still in the planning stages. There are State managed facilities which may be available to support education and research activities. Contact the HETF Project Manager for more information.

Click to learn more:

Laupahoehoe Wet Forest
Puu Waawaa Dry Forest
Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry

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