Honouliuli area, West O‘ahu, Property

The Olson Trust stewards 2,687 acres of conservation and agricultural land in the ahupua’a of Honouliuli on West O‘ ahu, envisioning the careful reforestation of native plants, water and soil conservation, and preservation of historical and archeological sites. This exceptional O‘ahu site is in the Wai‘anae Mountains, adjacent to resource-significant lands protected by the State (see next items). The land includes the 2154 acres of Palehua Ranch LLC, with 1275 acres under a conservation easement with Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and 879 agricultural acres hosting functioning telecommunication sites, including leases for eight cell towers, and TV and radio stations. The Olson Trust has donated half an acre of Palehua Ranch to build a nursery for native plants.

Wai’anae Mountains, West O‘ahu, Partnership

 In 2010, in a joint venture with Gill ‘Ewa Lands LLC, the Olson Trust entered a public-private partnership to protect about 3,300 acres that were part of 6000-some acres of land holdings spanning in the Wai‘anae Mountains previously acquired from the former James Campbell Estate. Now fully State-protected under the Trust for Public Land, this lowland forest is a prime source of fresh water and home to dozens of endangered species.

Conservation easements, O‘ahu/Ka‘ū

 In January 2011, the Trust entered a voluntary land preservation agreement with Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy for two permanent easements.

    • Honouliuli, O‘ahu: On the eastern slope of the Wai‘anae Mountains, the agreement ensures that 1,275 Honouliuli acres continue in perpetuity as working ranch and farm land, while safeguarding the property’s numerous cultural sites and healthy wildlife habitats.
    • Honu‘apo, Ka‘ū: A 907-acre area will continue into the future with traditional land use of farming and ranching while protecting significant wildlife areas and cultural sites. The agricultural areas are currently leased.

Direct Contributions

    • Ka‘ū: 225 acres of oceanfront land at Honu‘apo, purchased by the County.
    • Ka‘ū: $50,000 (2006) to the Trust for Public Land to protect the historic fishponds at Honu‘apo.
    • Ka‘ū: 550 acres at Kāwā Bay, purchased by the County and to be used as a public park.
    • Ka‘ū/South Kona: $500,000 (2011) to The Nature Conservancy to protect forests.
    • North Kohala: $25,000 to Maika‘i Kamakani ‘O Kohala to protect Kauhola Point in North Kohala.

Energy

Water: Ka‘ū Water Resource Project
Deep into the pristine, native forest reserve above Ka‘ū Coffee Mill’s lands, parts of a water supply system have lain dry for decades, unused, their origins tracing back to early sugar plantation days. In recent years, the crew of Ka‘ū Coffee Mill renovated several USGS ash bed tunnels in this area. Carved through solid rock and layers of volcanic ash, these tunnels meander underground for lengths of 2,000 feet and more. Descending from elevations as high as 3,500 feet and including a 13-million gallon black-sand and native-stone reservoir, Keaīwa, this system is now being restored to provide water to the farm lands and farmers of Ka‘ū, serve the Mill, and double as a hydroelectric resource. A 12-inch pipeline has replaced old leaking flumes, while materials have been recycled and reused whenever possible for history to connect with the future and agriculture to continue throughout. Once the system is fully operational, Ka‘ū Coffee Mill may be the first coffee mill in the Nation to be fully green-powered. Any extra energy to be generated through the hydroelectric plant will be sold to the island’s utility grid.

Wind – Palehua Ranch LLC.
Research and development of alternative energy resources are currently underway. These will serve as subsidiary revenue streams to finance the Trust’s overall O‘ahu conservation and preservation mission and include a 36MW 12-acre wind farm.

Solar – Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company
Kawaihae, Hawai‘i-the Big Island—Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company announced the completion of a 30,000 square-foot, $1.5 million photovoltaic (PV) system which is already generating 75% of its electricity needs, according to President and Co-Owner Richard Schnitzler.

“Providing renewable energy is something we should all be looking at for the planet,” said Schnitzler. “In addition, having the highest electricity cost in the nation makes it even more critical.” Schnitzler said the average Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co. electric bill was in the area of $50,000 per month. In its first 45 days of operation, the PV system is on course to pay for itself in 2.5-3 years, with potential savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The 1,527 Samsung panels can produce up to 1,652 kilowatt hours per day, essentially keeping 1.2 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide out of the atmosphere annually, equivalent to 989 barrels of oil, 88 vehicles or 64 homes.

Pāhala Gateway Project

 An 85-acre area purchased by the Trust and located at the Pāhala-Highway 11 intersection serves as a welcome to visitors complete with signage and maintained landscaping. This open-air “entrance” makes Pāhala a more attractive place for visitors, which in turn improves the economy and the well-being of Pāhala residents.

Continuing and Business Education

Funds are set aside within each subsidiary for employees to go to school as needed. The Trust requires in return: Good grades. A team spirit. Taking care of and pride in the lands or the duties assigned as responsibilities. The Edmund C. Olson Trust II and its affiliate the Edmund C. Olson Family Foundation also support community scholarship programs and fundraisers serving to increase awareness among students of the critical role of entrepreneurship in growing a thriving future for America, when combined with team work and right stewardship. All in all, the Trust has assisted over 160 students (employees or their children) to attend school and college to date.

Heritage Property

The Edmund C. Olson Trust II has had the privilege to acquire several heritage properties. They include the archives of the former Onomea Plantation in Pāpa‘ikou and the office building itself, agricultural, cultural, and conservation, heritage lands, the former C. Brewer Wainaku Executive Center, and several historical homes. It’s the Trust’s responsibility to restore and utilize these resources for the benefit of Hawai‘i.

Charitable and Cultural Contributions, Sponsorships

    • Ka‘ū Hospital: funds for the purchase of a long-needed wheelchair accessible van.
    • Ka‘ū Coffee Festival.
    • Historic Palace Theater, Hilo
    • Hawai‘i Island International Volleyball Classic, June 16-21, 2014.
    • Hawai‘i Adaptive Paddling Association (HAPA), a non-profit organization that involves physically, mentally and emotionally challenged individuals in the sport of Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddling.
    • The Trust donates about $500,000 annually to a variety of other charitable organizations.
    • Ka‘ū Calendar Newspaper. The Edmund C. Olson Trust has helped underwrite daily news for the Ka‘ū Calendar newspaper since November 1, 2010. The newspaper reports local community events, sports, accomplishments, and issues to provide outreach for the economic, cultural and educational health of the district of Ka‘ū.
    • Olson Trust Building in Pahala – Home of the Pahala Branch of the non-profit credit union for the community, CU Hawaii.