Ahupuaʻa O Kahana State Park, formerly Kahana Valley State Park, is located on the windward side of Oʻahu between Kaʻaʻawa and Punaluʻu, Hawaii. The park is located mauka (up hill) from Kahana Bay. It is Hawaii's only public ahupuaʻa, and it stretches from the sea to the tip of PuʻuPauao at 2670 feet. It has a tropical climate, and it is one of the wettest areas in Oʻahu, averaging nearly 300 inches per year in parts of the valley.
The main purpose of the park is to embrace and teach Hawaiian culture. Before Western civilization came to the islands, Kahana had a strong community. It had fresh water, abundant seafood, and a stable supply of taro, which was grown in fields with advanced irrigation systems.
However, around the time of King Kamehameha's unification of Hawaii in the 1800s, the community fell into steep decline due to foreign diseases, sugarcane cultivation and the military's use of the valley as a World War II jungle warfare training center, through the arrival of Europeans.
In the early 1900s most of the valley was owned by Mary E. Foster, and after her death the valley was given to Bishop Estate. The state proposed a purchase of the ahupua'a, which was rejected. The Foster estate was not satisfied with the purchase plan, which was for $5,000,000 being paid 1 million per year for 5 years, as the current legislature could not ensure future payments. The state forced the purchase through condemnation, later fulfilling their debt.The land later became a state park. Today, only 31 families live in the valley. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahupua'a_O_Kahana_State_Park)
Ahupua’a Management is a traditional Hawaiian concept of managing land and natural resources. It has been discovered by the local communities and is similar to watershed management. Ahupua’aare land divisions based on natural features such as mountain ridges and streams that makes it like a watersheds. It encompasses the land, water and elements in the sky from mauka (mountain) to makai(sea). Aside from watershed management, Ahupua’a also integrates natural resource concerns with cultural, human and spiritual resources.
Furthermore, according to Pukui and Elbert (1986),Ahupua’a is a "land division usually extending from the uplands to the sea, so called because the boundary was marked by an ahu (heap) of stones surmounted by an image of a pua‘a (pig)." From Hawai’i Supreme Court, the traditional Ahupua‘a management was defined as a
"principle that land should run from the sea to the mountains, thus affording to the chief and his people a fishery residence at the warm seaside, together with the products of the high lands, such as fuel, canoe timber, mountain birds, and the right of way to the same, and all the varied products of the intermediate land as might be suitable to the soil and climate of the different altitudes from sea soil to mountainside or top".
Our team will design Ahupua’a Management in 21st Century with the emphasis on interconnectedness of land and sea together with the environment and the people on it. This emphasis will hopefully encourage and results to a community-based efforts on Ahupua’a Management that will be called Ahupua’a Now and Then.