Across the many lava flows on Hualalai at an elevation of about 3,500 feet, you reach Kona Cloud Forest on Hawai‘i Island. As you travel up, the road winds through several ecosystems, beginning with the lower, more tropical palms and ending up at an elevation of around 6,100 feet where you find aalii, pukiawe and hardy ohia. Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT) recently protected the Cloud Forest by recording a conservation easement on a 10-acre parcel of land in the Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary owned by Norman C. Bezona and his extended family.
A land trust is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that works to permanently conserve lands that contribute to a community’s health, well-being, and unique character. These may include lands with water resources that ensure clean drinking water, rich working lands that have potential to bring locally-sourced food to a community, lands that ensure public access to the coastline or open spaces, historic and/or cultural sites that allow us to connect to our past, or beautiful scenic lands that enrich our emotional and mental well-being.