Volcano, Hawai‘i Island – The ancient idea of “pohopoho” – patching together pieces to save the whole — is embodied by a Volcano resident, Dan Taylor. Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) and Dan Taylor of Volcano, permanently protected three acres of land in the Royal Hawaiian Estates subdivision of Volcano. Since 2010, Taylor has donated two other easements to HILT. Dan is creating a corridor in Volcano of protected ‘Ōhi‘a forest for the birds, bats, butterflies and all the insects those animals depend on to survive. He has also been the driving force behind three additional easements that have been donated to HILT, bringing the total easement acreage in Volcano to twelve acres.
Dan Taylor arrived in Volcano in 1979 and worked his way up to being the Chief of Natural Resources Management for the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, retiring in 1995. He has a deep love for the forests, birds and wildlife of the area and has made it his life’s work to conserve those lands he cares for. Dan’s work now is to bring local people together to protect the lands they love. For many, the largely pristine environment of the Volcano area is the reason they chose to live, work and visit there; the health of the land is strongly connected with the quality of life for the local community.
The goals of the easement are: 1. Preserve native ‘ōhi‘a forest and associated plant communities in perpetuity, and 2; extend the resource protection afforded to neighboring Kahauale‘a Natural Area Reserve, Ola‘a Forest Reserve and Volcanoes National Park. Due in a large part to Dan’s promotion of easements and his work with the Community of Volcano, the “Donation of Small Property Conservation Easements in Residential Subdivisions” is one of the top priorities of the October 2015 Volcano Long Range Plan. (VLRP).
“On behalf of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, I want to thank Dan Taylor for his commitment to protecting his lands in Volcano by donating, this, his third conservation easement and for being a dedicated conservationist who makes a difference to his community, said Scott Fisher, HILT Interim Executive Director.
About Hawaiian Islands Land Trust: Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (“HILT”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2011 out of the merger of four local land trusts, and it is the first and only nationally accredited local land trust in Hawai‘i. Our mission is to protect the lands that will sustain us for current and future generations. HILT has conserved over 17,500 acres to date, via perpetual Conservation Easements and Fee Simple Ownership, on a number of properties with various conservation values important to residents and visitors alike. We conserve lands that secure Hawai‘i’s long-term well-being, lands with scenic views, agricultural resources, wildlife habitats, water resource areas, cultural and historical sites, and outdoor recreation opportunities. To learn more about HILT and become a Member, go to www.hilt.org.
Photo: Tim Britt and Dan Taylor on his land in Volcano. Courtesy of Janet Britt.