Wai‘oli Valley


Size: 39 acres
Year Protected: 2015
Land Protection Strategy: HILT Conservation Easement
Conservation Values: Agricultural (important for kalo), historical and cultural, scenic and water resources
Land Features: Farmland in the historic Waiʻoli Valley, one of Hawaiʻi’s most important taro producing areas


Gaylord & Carol Wilcox

Gaylord & Carol Wilcox

If lands like these are not protected for the long term, we believe pressures that are evident now for housing development will win out, and the majority of Wai‘oli Valley will be housing before the century is out.
— Gaylord Wilcox, landowner

About the WAI‘OLI Conservation Easements

HILT acquired two conservation easements on 40 acres of wetland kalo (taro) in the Halele‘a district of Kaua‘i.  Donated by Gaylord and Carol Wilcox and their daughters Nicole Pedersen, Darcie Gray and Eliza Wilcox, the conservation easements place permanent restrictions on this important active farm land protecting it from future development and degradation.  The easements will not only ensure the land cannot be developed, but will also identify certain conservation values such as agricultural resources, cultural and historical values, wildlife habitat, and scenic beauty which are inherent in the property and will prevent it from being compromised or threatened by future uses of the land.  Endangered water birds that frequent the area are Ae‘o (Hawaiian Stilt), ‘Alae ‘Ula (Hawaiian Moorhen), ‘Alae Ke‘oke‘o (Coot), and Koloa Maoli (Hawaiian Duck).

Wai‘oli (Joyful Water) Valley has been in active kalo production since pre-contact times and remains a major producer of poi for the state.  It is situated mauka of Kuhio Highway in Hanalei on the north shore of Kaua‘i.