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The Hawai‘i Wood Utilization Team (HWUT) is a group of experts from various wood-related industries. The team is initiating innovative, cross-sector ideas and projects that expand wood product markets in Hawai‘i. Industries include Forestry, Architecture, Design, Engineering, Wood Products, Construction, Finance, Marketing, and Cultural Practice.

The Hawai‘i Wood Products Directory facilitates the establishment of business connections among the broad array of interests in Hawaii’s wood product sector.  Learn more here.

The HWUT hosted a “Forest to Frame: Mass Timber from a Hawaii Perspective” Workshop at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu on March 13, 2019, which was attended by 35 people.


The Hawai‘i Department of Land & Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW) formed the Hawai‘i Wood Utilization Team, which is comprised of the following representatives:

  • DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife – Philipp LaHaela Walter
  • Albizia Project – Joseph Valenti
  • Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association – Michael Tam
  • Hawai‘i Forest Institute – William Yuen
  • Kamehameha Schools – Ikaika Bantolina
  • Mana Means Communications – Janet Scheffer
  • UH Kaua‘i Community College – Justin Carvalho
  • Hawaii Lumber Products Association (HLPA) – Scott Loomer
  • UH College of Engineering – Ian Robertson
  • TZ Economics – Paul Brewbaker
  • Kevin Miyamura Architects – Kevin Miyamura


Developing Markets for Hazardous Fuel Wood

Each year, approximately 0.5% of Hawaii’s total land area is burned by wildfire.  More than 25% of the state has been invaded by non-native, fire-prone grasses and shrubs and that percentage grows each time fire burns into a native forest.  As a result, wildfires are increasing in frequency, size, and severity on all islands, which threatens communities, agricultural lands, natural resources, and ecosystem services.

Hawai‘i has over 75,000 acres of timber plantations in need of management and use to reduce the threat of wildfire and reduce post‐fire environmental impacts.  This project will promote the use of hazardous fuel wood, as well as increase the visibility, connectivity, and confidence in Hawai‘i wood products and local manufacturing for commercial building markets.


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