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Conserving and Protecting ʻĀina Along the Kaʻū Coast

Posted on May 25, 2022 in Featured News, News & Reports

Wednesday, June 8, 2022
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Zoom webinar

How can conservation real estate protect ʻāina and cultural sites from future development? What public policy tools can help conservation efforts in Hawaiʻi? Join us and the Trust for Public Land and Ala Kakahakai Trail Association to learn how communities can partner with land trusts to conserve and protect ʻāina threatened by subdivision, sale, or development. Reyna Ramolete Hayashi and Keoni Fox will discuss how the Kaʻū community on Hawaiʻi island has successfully protected its beloved coastline for future generations through community stewardship and management.

On Hawai‘i Island’s Southeastern Coast, signs lined the highway promoting the sale of some of the makai (seaward) portion of the historic ahupua‘a (land division) of Kaunāmano (photo above). These 1,363-acres of stunning Ka‘ū shoreline and pasture include four miles of the ancient Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail that once circled the island, and a web of traditional trails leading to hundreds of ancient Hawaiian cultural sites. The Trust for Public Land and several community stakeholders like the Ala Kahakai Trail Association partnered to purchase and protect the Kaunāmano property as a living legacy of the storied district of Ka‘ū. The protection of Kaunāmano is one among several successful Ka‘ū conservation projects over the years.


Reyna Ramolete HayashiReyna Ramolete Hayashi is the Aloha ‘Āina Project Manager at Trust for Public Land (TPL). Trust for Public Land’s mission is to protect land for people ensuring healthy livable communities for generations to come. Reyna works to preserve lands that perpetuate Hawaiian culture and return those lands to Native Hawaiian organizations for community and cultural stewardship. Prior to joining TPL, she worked as a fair housing and workers’ rights attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i and Empire Justice Center (New York). Reyna was born and raised in Kapālama, O‘ahu, graduated from Moanalua High School, University of British Columbia, and Seattle University School of Law.


Keoni FoxKeoni Fox is a volunteer board member with the nonprofit Ala Kahakai Trail Association (ATA). ATA’s mission is to support and guide a community-managed trail that honors those who came before and perpetuates for those to follow – with protocols and respect for Hawai‘i past, present and future. Keoni attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics with a concentration in Marketing and Environmental Management. As a cultural practitioner with ancestral ties to Nāʻālehu, Keoni is a strong advocate for the protection of cultural and natural resources in Kaʻū. He is an avid hiker and native Hawaiian plant enthusiast. Keoni also manages a small family farm in Waikāne, O‘ahu specializing in local, free range poultry and eggs.

DISCLAIMERS: If you require accommodation for a disability, please email or call us at (808) 539-4999. While the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary provides a venue for diverse discussion, the speakers’ remarks do not necessarily represent opinions of the Judiciary.