Kamehameha Schools is searching for an operator to harvest eucalyptus trees from a forest that it owns on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii island.
A request-for-proposals has been issued, according to Kamehameha Schools, and includes the harvest of 3,000 acres of eucalyptus in Hilo, the ocean side of Paauilo and an area near the Waipio Valley rim.
“These are areas in which we want to immediately transition to other uses such as community education programs and agricultural activities,” said Marissa Harman, Kamehameha Schools’ director of asset management, in a news release. “The selected operator will be awarded a short-term license versus a long-term lease to allow us more flexibility in assessing the future of the lands in Hamakua as we work to meet the goals of our strategic plan.”
Kamehameha Schools seeks operators with experience in plantation forest management, marketing and harvesting experience.
Hawai‘i Forest of Paauilo was selected last year but notified Kamehameha Schools during the summer that it would be withdrawing from final lease negotiations. The previous lease expired Dec. 31, 2016, when tenant LHF Lopiwa LLC opted not to extend it.
“After the negotiations fell through, we decided it was a good opportunity to pause and take a deeper look at the long-term plans for Hamakua,” Harman said. “Kamehameha Schools is committed to its kuleana of responsible stewardship of these lands. We look forward to developing a post-sugarcane era industry for KS properties in Hamakua. We want to express our thanks to the community for its patience and support as we continue our work to find a forest operator.”