Voluntary Long-Term Protection of Agricultural Land in Hawaii

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2009: $82,814.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Christopher Lepczyk
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: workshop
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems


    Across Hawaii little is known about protecting agricultural land through tax and zoning incentives for land owners to voluntarily designate their lands as Important Agricultural Lands (IAL). To address these gaps in knowledge, we conducted workshops across the state, held a statewide workshop, revised fact sheets, developed a geographic information systems database of IAL and surveyed 400 landowners that qualify for IAL designation. Approximately 350 individuals participated in local and statewide workshops and 172 (43% response rate) individuals responded to the survey. Overall, few landowners currently participate in voluntary easement programs, but they were interested in becoming participants.

    Project objectives:

    1. Determine the value/significance of incentives to producers and landowners to participate in voluntary agricultural land protection programs.
      Evaluate the potential impact of the new state Important Agricultural Lands program to produce long-term protection of agricultural land.
      Develop alternative prioritization strategies that can be used to target funds for acquiring agricultural conservation easements.
      Educate stakeholders, including government officials, non-profit staff, agricultural professionals and landowners about the value and impact of voluntary agricultural land protection programs in Hawaii.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.