Natural Origins
The signature feature of this land, Pu'u Wa'awa'a itself,
was formed over 100,000 years before present. In fact, it is
the oldest surface feature on all of Hualalai. All of the
rocky surface around the cone and across the greater
landscape is comprised of relatively recent lava flows. The
diverse natural communities evolved in response to these
periodic overlays of new rock, catastrophic weather
events, and other influences that shaped the natural
character of this region.

The Arrival of Humans
It is believed that native Hawaiians made their way to the
relatively arid leeward coast of Hawaii Island for
permanent habitation about 1,100 A.D. Most settlements
were along the coastline where fresh water springs and
rich fisheries were present. However, the diversity of the
dryland forest provided many resources useful in the
coastal economy as well as for general survival, and these
lands were accessed for these resources. The richness of
the ahupua'a of Pu'u Wa'awa'a is evidenced by the Great
Mahele in 1848, whereas Kauikeaouli (Kamehameha III)
reserved this and neighboring Pu'u Anahulu for himself.
The lands of these two ahupua'a, collectively known as
"Napu'u," were used for raising livestock. Sheep, goats
and cattle were raised here under a crown lease. Pu'u
Wa'awa'a Ranch was established in 1892 by Robert Hind
and Eben Low. The Ranch was sold in 1958 to the
Dillingham Family, who owned it until 1972 when it was
again sold to F. Newell Bohnett. The last ranch lease
expired in the year 2000.

Present and Future Management
The greater ahupua'a is still government-owned, now
under the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural
Resources. There are a few parcels of land that were
withdrawn from the lease during the Territorial era and
remain under private ownership today. The remainder of
the over 35,000 acres of land is managed as a State Forest
Reserve. In 2002, the Board of Land and Natural
Resources directed the establishment of a Pu'u Wa'awa'a
Advisory Council to provide guidance to the State
regarding the multiple-purpose concept of a modern
ahupua'a. In 2003, with the close involvement of the
Council and State staff, a
Management Plan was
developed and approved by the Board to drive the
multiple use vision into the future, and serves as the
roadmap for day-to-day as well as long-term activities on
the land.
History & Management