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.


USFS Interest In Puu Anahulu School Lot for HETF facilties: Nov 5, 2014 Meeting

The US Forest Service is interested in utilizing the Puu Anahulu school lot as support facilities for the HETF. The HETF includes State lands in Laupahoehoe and Puu Waawaa and the Puu Anahulu school site would support Puu Waawaa activities. Click here for more information. The Forest Service is asking the community for feedback on our interest in leasing the land, and we have not yet formally applied for a lease from the State.There will be a follow up meeting to answer questions and as an opportunity to meet each other scheduled for November 5, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Puu Anahulu Community Center.

If there are questions are concerns please feel free to contact Ric Lopez, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry Director (tel: 747-4080, RDLopez@fs.fed.us) or Melissa Dean, HETF Project Manager (tel: 854-2651, mkdean@hawaii.edu) by November 21, 2014. We are excited about this new opportunity to partner with community members and community organizations on projects that meet our mutual goals.

Now Accepting Applications for Advisory Councils

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.

Laupahoehoe Advisory Council
Puu Waawaa Advisory Council

USFS receives Site of the Year award from Kupu for its conservation education work with Hawaiian youth

Read the story here. To learn more about Kupu and the programs they offer visit their website.


Laupahoehoe Advisory Council (LAC)

Next Meeting: Wed, February 11,2015, 6-8 pm @ the Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School
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.

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)

Next Meeting: January 30, 2015, 3-5 pm @ Puu Waawaa Lakehouse
MEETING AGENDA (will be posted once finalized). 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.

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.


HETF 2013 Annual Report

HETF 2012 Annual Report

HETF 2011 Annual Report

HETF 2010 Annual Report

HETF 2007-2009 Annual Report

HETF Climate Data

A new area of the HETF website is the Climate page. On these pages, climatic data from a number of weather stations is available for viewing and download. Graphs of precipitation and other climate variables are also available. Several of the weather stations have been in operation for over 40 years and have hourly precipitation records available for this entire period.


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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