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Moloaʻa Forest Reserve



Moloaʻa Forest Reserve was created by Governor’s Proclamation in 1909. 

In regards to the Moloa‘a FR, “the object of this reserve is protect and preserve the forest on the steep slopes that can be used to better economic advantage for growing forest than for any other economic purpose. There is not much water on these slopes, but what there is, is of high value” (Hosmer 1909). It is noted that Moloa‘a “rounds out the block of forest land on the north side of Kauai and completes the chain of reserves around Mt. Waialeale.”

Game mammal and Game bird hunting opportunities are offered on the six major islands in the State of Hawai‘i: (Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and the big island of Hawai‘i). Each of these islands has one or more State-designated public hunting areas (called Hunting Units), which are open for hunting at certain times during each year. Game mammal and game bird hunting opportunities are also available on private lands as well. Occasionally, the Division of Forestry & Wildlife (DOFAW) may modify or cancel a hunting season in a particular area to adjust for changes in weather conditions or animal populations.

Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hunting Website

Game Mammal Hunting Rules and Exhibits

Game Bird Hunting Rules and Exhibits

Allowed Activities

Additional Information

Additional Use

Hunting: DOFAW manages public hunting on all forest reserve lands on Kaua‘i by the regulation of hunting seasons, bag limits, and hunting methods. As a part of Hunting Unit C, mammal hunting is allowed in Keālia and Moloa‘a Forest Reserves but game bird hunting is not. General hunting regulations can be found in Hawai‘i Revised Statues (HRS) Title 13 Chapter 121. DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) enforces hunting regulations (Chapter 123 Rules Regulating Game Mammal Hunting).

Keālia and Moloa‘a Forest Reserves contain only one of four possible Game Animal management classes (Figure 6) according to DOFAW’s 2001 Draft Management Guidelines: A2: Mixed Game and Other Uses. Approximately 3,669 acres of A-2 managed area exists in Moloa‘a FR and 6,083 acres in Keālia FR. In A-2 areas, game management is an objective integrated with other uses; habitat may be manipulated for game enhancement and game populations are managed to acceptable levels using public hunting. Habitat is not presently manipulated in either reserve. It is the Division’s current policy that if an area designated as A-2 contains critical habitat, game enhancement will not be implemented. DOFAW is currently in the process of updating its Management Guidelines; both reserves will be changed to the A-3: Game Control (public) management class to allow for more liberal hunting. In A-3 areas, resource protection is the primary objective, with emphasis on native plant communities and watersheds. Seasons and bag limits are designed for public hunting to reduce impacts to native resources.

Although not located within either of the forest reserves, four hunter checking stations are available in the area at Moloa‘a, Keālia, Moalepe, and Kondo Gate.

Camping: Camping is not allowed in either Keālia or Moloa‘a Forest Reserve.

Fishing: Fishing opportunities exist in most streams for Tahitian prawn (Macrobium spp.) and o‘opu (Lentipes concolor). Hawai‘i Fishing Regulations can be obtained through the DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources.

Hiking: There are no hiking trails within Keālia or Moloa‘a Forest Reserves, however two Nā Ala Hele trails, Moalepe and Kuilau, reach the southern boundary of Keālia Forest Reserve. See section G: Access above for more details.

Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is not allowed within the Reserves, however it is allowed on the two Nā Ala Hele trails that reach the southern boundary of Keālia Forest Reserve. See section G: Access above for more details.

Dirt Bikes, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Mountain Bikes: Dirt bikes and ATVs are not allowed in either Keālia or Moloa‘a Forest Reserve; mountain bikes may be used on Moalepe and Kuilau Trails.