Maui News

Special Chronicles Importance of Native Forests

January 17, 2019, 11:32 AM HST
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A one-hour documentary that chronicles the life-giving importance of Hawai‘i’s native forests is set to debut this Friday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. on KFVE-TV (K5).  Forests for Life, produced by the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, is the culmination of five years of taping and conducting interviews in stunning and remote parts of the state, including Hanawi and Kahikinui on Maui.


“This new film, with stunning visuals and captivating stories, brings to life the importance of our native forests to our watersheds, all told through the experiences of dozens of people who’ve made forest protection their life missions,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.

Native forests are the source of clean, clear drinking water for more than a million Hawai‘i residents and nearly ten times as many annual visitors. As the documentary explores, they are also critical for a whole host of other benefits. The special has nine distinct segments which detail native forests’ relationship to Hawaiian culture, protection of rare plants and animals, and barriers against flood, fire, and erosion.

The special was photographed and produced by DLNR Senior Communications Manager Dan Dennison. He said, “When I began editing this documentary, utilizing hours and hours of images, it really reinforced for me not only the amazing beauty of our native forests but also demonstrated the passion of the hundreds of people who are tremendously dedicated to forest and watershed protection. Our hope is this passion and dedication shines through for everyone who watches and in their own way they too become forest advocates.”


The special will be broadcast a second time on K5, on January 21, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. K5 General Manager John Fink explained, “We’ve partnered with DLNR over the last couple of years to air the special broadcasts they produce. Of all of them, Forests for Life, is perhaps the most important as it clearly demonstrates just how critical native forests are for all of our lives…without fresh water, life as we know it in Hawai‘i will not continue.”


Hawai‘i’s tourism industry , along with DLNR provided funding for the broadcasts. Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā,, Director of Hawaiian Cultural Affairs for the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority said, “Our native forests are critical to the way of life we treasure and share with those who come to the Hawaiian Islands. Forests for Life reminds all of us of our kuleana to mālama our natural environment, and why each of us need to act now to protect our native forests today and for many generations to come.”

After the broadcasts of Forests for Life on KFVE-TV, the full-length documentary will be available online along with each of nine individual segments.

East Maui waterfall, near Hanawi Ditch. Photo courtesy: DLNR

Kahikinui Forest Reserve, Maui. Photo courtesy: DLNR

Kahikinui Forest Reserve, Maui. Photo courtesy: DLNR

Kahikinui Forest Reserve, Maui. Photo courtesy: DLNR

Aryon Strauch at East Maui waterfall. Photo courtesy: DLNR

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