State Land ≠ Public Lands
Updated: Apr 4
Know before you go! Understand the risk to the environment, your safety, and the legalities before you post about your location.
Encouraging entry to locations where it is deemed illegal to do so is extremely detrimental to Hawai‘is fragile native ecosystem. It can and will also affect localsʻ already limited accessibility to these culturally significant sites and is extremely dangerous to visitors who are unfamiliar with Hawai‘is hazardous terrain and unpredictable weather.
Consider when posting to include education information about leave no trace, how to explore responsibly or culture based information. If promoting products on state lands or private property make sure you have the proper permits. Hawaiʻi is not your backdrop. Your posts have impact on who will visit these spaces later, make sure your social media influence is Pono. Please work to promote legal, ethical and responsible access.
Private Property: NO TRESPASSING, a large amount of mountain ranges and remote valleys are privately owned or leased.
Shoreline public access is an important common law right that is shared by local residents and visitors alike. NO ONE OWNS THE SAND!
Kuleana Lands- Ancestral Lands maintained and/or owned by a ʻOhana (Family). Private Property, No access
City and County of Honolulu & State Owned Land- If not on a State maintained trail, venturing on these lands are typically considered as acts of trespassing (and can be punishable offenses)
Military owned: No public access, no trespassing
Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR):
The Natural Area Reserves System (NARS) of Hawai‘i is making a Statewide effort to preserve land and water resources that support our local communities. Their purpose is to try to keep the precious natural flora, fauna, and important geological sites as pristine and unmodified as possible. Regulations on access to lands categorized as such are area specific and is only permitted through special permitted access or on set trails ONLY.
Forest Reserve System (DOFAW): Protecting Natural and Cultural Resources are top priority. The public is generally welcome into any forest reserve provided it is not dangerous or detrimental to human life or the sensitive resources. A lot of Forestry Land is also Hunting Land, which means off leash hunting dogs. Again access is area specific.
State Parks: Maintained trails, set rules that are area specific.
Go to Nā Ala Hele Trail and Access page for approved trails, these trails are maintained and have a budgeted plan for ecosystem protection. Illegal, unregulated trails can results in injury or death. We as a community have seen and paid for way too many rescues. Due to the amount of rain we receive (flash flooding), land slides are a common occurance. The Nā Ala Trail page will have the most updated information about hiking closures. https://hawaiitrails.hawaii.gov/trails
It is important to note: We believe Public Lands SHOULD be more easily and legally accessible, with properly managed and maintained trails/sites. With the way our landscapes are currently being advertised in tourism videos, the State should be allocating more funds toward conservation groups and efforts to accommodate Hawai‘is specific ecological needs. From proper maintenance of trails, to providing educational resources to locals and tourists alike... this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Why we donʻt feel that Geo-Tagging
is ethical in Hawaiʻi:
Geotagging isn’t something that Hawaiians (kānaka) or locals encourage. Our landscapes are full of ENDEMIC and ENDANGERED flora and fauna, or near culturally historical and sensitive areas. Our islands and various hiking locations are under an immense physical pressure from over-population. If you haven't taken the time to learn about the area, I wouldn't recommend going.
You can tag THE Hawaiian Kingdom, as a way to acknowledge the Indigenous people of Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian Kingdom, originated in 1795, when Kamehameha the Great, united the Islands under one government. Between 1843 and 1885, The Hawaiian Kingdom’s national independence was recognized by 16 world nations. International treaty relationships were signed with such countries as Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Norway, the Swiss Confederation, and the United States of America.
"As hikers, climbers, and outdoors enthusiasts, we love that access to America's Public Lands allows us to pursue these activities, but for non-Native people, it is too easy to forget that these public lands were created through the violent dispossession of millions of indigenous people - the system is designed to make us forget. As long as we continue to accept indigenous erasure as the status quo, we continue to be complicit in the ongoing colonial project in the United States."