Lokahi, the Hawaiian term for “collaboration” represents the founding principle of Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. Over the years, the hard work and good intentions of land trusts across the State accomplished great things. For more than two decades these organizations worked to protect our natural and cultural treasures. They engaged volunteers, motivated donors and worked to preserve the heritage that is uniquely Hawaiian. Among them, they have successfully protected coastal areas, working ranches and agricultural lands, wildlife habitats, watersheds, park and recreation areas and Hawaiian cultural sites.

In order to keep pace with the development that threatens our most important places, these land trusts knew that they must work both harder and smarter. It was necessary to find a way to take conservation in Hawaii to the next level. For more than a year, like-minded organizations worked to create a vision of a more cohesive, more capable, and better-funded statewide conservation effort. E Pluribus Unum, Out of Many, One—it was time to join forces.

In January 2011, that vision became a reality when the merger of four existing organizations became official and the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust was born. Participating in the collaboration were Kauai Public Land Trust, Oahu Land Trust, Maui Coastal Land Trust, and Hawaii Island Land Trust. Now, each county in the State is represented together by a vibrant new statewide land conservancy.