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About Us

Who are We, and Why do We Exist? 

We were established in 1998 in a concerted, collaborative effort to reverse the negative trend of forest degradation caused by threats like invasive species, human impacts, and wildfire.  We have a small, full-time staff of eight men and women and one intern, based in Olowalu.  Representatives from the landowning partners who formed the partnership guide our program goals and objectives.

We build fence, remove invasive species, and monitor watershed health to protect the intact native forests of Mauna Kahalawai, the West Maui Mountains.  Endangered flora and fauna have a better chance at survival in these protected areas, and our accomplishments help ensure that your faucet won't run dry.

The forest we protect is home to a treasure trove of plants, animals, and insects found nowhere else in the world.  This forest supplies the water you drink.

The Partnership's goal is to protect the native forest that generates most of Maui's fresh water supply.  A healthy, intact native forest is a giant living sponge that will provide a sustainable source of water for our island. 

In a pristine native forest, trees, shrubs, ferns, and mosses are intimately intertwined.  The many layers of vegetation in these forests catch moisture droplets from passing clouds and soak up falling rain.  While some of this water gently flows over the surface of the land to be channeled into streams, the underground network of roots helps water percolate down through the soil and into our aquifers.  

In protecting these natural resources, our work helps to ensure a clean and continuous supply of fresh water for Maui.  Where that water goes once it flows out of the mountains is beyond our purview.  The County Department of Water Supply can provide more information on distribution.