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September 15, 2011

Commercial Forestry Activities in Hawai’i
Pre-Contact to the Present

Commercial forestry activities have been conducted in Hawai‘i since the arrival of early immigrants from Polynesia and other parts of the Pacific. These early settlers brought tree species from their homelands that were planted and used, along with indigenous trees, for the various activities of the society at that time.

Uses included, but were not limited to, home construction, religion, recreation, warfare, agriculture and fishing. It has been reported that more than 200 years ago large areas of land cover – conservatively estimated to be near 25 percent of the land area – had already been altered due to long term human impact.

Commercial forestry activities have played a small, generally unrecognized, but important and interesting role in the economic development of Hawai’i.

Today, these commercial forestry activities are positioned to play a larger role in the diversification of Hawaii’s economy as they mature in the 21st century.

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