HONOLULU (KHON2) — Three hundred acres of rainforest in the southern Koolau mountains will become a Natural Area Reserve thanks to a generous donation.
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The Pia Valley parcel can be viewed near the top of Hawaii Loa Ridge Trail in East Oahu if you look to your right. It’s a habitat for a diverse set of plants and animals.
The donation by landowner Patricia Godfrey removes the land from private hands and makes it public land managed by DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), according to a news release Tuesday. The area is expected to be designated as the Pia Natural Area Reserve (NAR), which could be visited for hiking and recreational uses.
“I’m just a tiny link in a chain of many, many people who have worked to keep this land preserved for the animals and plants,” Godfrey said. “It was a lucky moment when I was able to step in and hold the property for the State for a few years.”
The donated land extends to the summit ridge of the Koolau mountains and encompasses upper portions of Pia Valley, above the Hawaii Loa and Niu Valley subdivisions. Some plants and animals in the proposed Pia NAR are found nowhere else in the world.