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The oldest and the fourth largest of the eight main islands of Hawai`i, Kaua`i is over five million years old and a place of extraordinary landscapes.

From the 2,500-foot deep Waimea Canyon to Alakai Swamp, a forested plateau of over 4,000 feet in elevation with a recorded annual rainfall of over 500 inches, Kauai’s diverse environments have generated forest types from semiarid woodlands to subtropical rain forests and montane cloud forests.

In 1904, the first Territorial Forester, Ralph Hosmer, was hired to begin the creation of the first forest reserves to protect upper watershed areas. Forest reserves were managed by fencing, feral animal elimination, and reforestation with native and exotic tree species.

Places to Visit

Kaua`i State Parks

National Tropical Botanical Garden

Na ‘Āina Kai Botanical Garden

Protected Places

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuges


DLNR: State of Hawaii Forest Reserve System Kaua`i Island

Coastal Geology Group

United States Geolological Service

U.S. Forest Service

County of Kaua`i

Water and Weather

Hawaii Association of Watershed Partnerships

Kaua`i Watershed Alliance

The Nature Conservancy

DOFAW Hawaii Watersheds Q&A

National Weather Service

Earth Observatory


West Kauai Historic Timeline

CTAHR Hawaii Forestry Extension

Hawaii Forest Industry Association

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