Welcome to the Hawai‘i Experimental Tropical Forest!

We would like to acknowledge the lands on which the Hawaii Experimental Tropical Forest is established, lands that are sacred to Kānaka Maoli, the Native Hawaiian people. The HETF encompasses the ahupua‘a of Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a in the moku of North Kona and a section of the ahupua‘a of Laupāhoehoe in the moku of North Hilo. The HETF is dedicated to providing landscapes, facilities, and data/information to support research and education activities; as well as caring for Hawai‘i’s biocultural landscapes and communities. This land acknowledgement welcomes everyone who gathers here.



The HETF’s mission is to provide landscapes, facilities, and data/information to support research and education activities contributing to a better understanding of how to conserve and manage the biological diversity and functioning of tropical forest and stream ecosystems as well as to understand the human dimensions of natural resources conservation and management.

The HETF represents a significant contribution in the global effort to understand and protect some of the most threatened and endangered ecosystems in the world. This is accomplished in the following ways: facilitating research by providing research areas, facilities and information; fostering an environment for interaction and the exchange of information among scientists and to those outside the scientific community, and providing education and demonstration opportunities for those interested in tropical forest studies and management. 

Check out our recent happenings!

2024 HETF Webinars
Mahalo to all our outstanding presenters and those who’ve attended our 2023 HETF Webinars. We will be taking a short hiatus for the holiday season, but we'll return with a fresh line up of webinars in the new year! If you've missed any of the past webinars or would like to re-watch your favorite, you …
ʻŌhiʻa Love Festival 
Catch the Hawaiʻi Experimental Tropical Forest at the ʻŌhiʻa Love Festival! Happening this Saturday, November 4th in Hilo at the Komohana Research and Extension Center. From the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources: This is a very special event, to honor ʻŌhiʻa, and learn the latest research about the …
Run for the Dry Forest 2023
Come join us for a run through the dry forest on Saturday, October 28th, 2023 at Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a. The 16th Annual Run for the Dry Forest event is a 10K run, 5K run/walk, and 1/4-mile keiki run.  The 10K run starts at 7:45am and is an “extreme trail running experience” featuring a 1200 ft. elevation gain …
Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference
Hawaii Conservation Conference 2023 Artwork Created by Tressa Hoppe Thank you for visiting our booth at the Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference. Below are highlights of current research initiatives happening within the HETF. If you want to dive deeper into the research, click here to look at our publications The Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference was held from June …

Who We Are

The Hawaiʻi Experimental Tropical Forest (HETF) was established in 2007 and includes two Units: the Laupāhoehoe Wet Forest, totaling 12,343 acres (4,990 ha), and the Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a Dry Forest, totaling 38,885 acres (15,736 ha). The HETF is part of a network of USFS Experimental Forest and Range units across the United States.

The HETF overlays existing State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) managed lands and include the following land designations: Forest Reserve and Natural Area Reserve in Laupāhoehoe and Wildlife Sanctuary (Forest Bird Sanctuary), Forest Reserve and State Parks in Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a. The USDA Forest Service (USFS), Pacific Southwest Research Station in Hilo, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry (IPIF), works with the DLNR – Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and State Parks to cooperatively manage research and education activities within the HETF.


The HETF is located on Hawaiʻi Island and consists of two Units – the Laupāhoehoe Wet Forest Unit and the Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a Dry Forest Unit. Both Units are located on lands managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The HETF is cooperatively managed by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and the USDA Forest Service under a 35-year Cooperative Agreement establishing the Hawaiʻi Experimental Tropical Forest.