Trust For Public Land Secures Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape Designation  

Coalition of federal agencies, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations will guide collaborative conservation efforts throughout the state  

HONOLULU, HI –  Trust for Public Land announced Hawaiʻi has formally received a Sentinel Landscape designation, ensuring that, under existing federal conservation and the Department of Defense (DoD) Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) programs, the state’s key conservation efforts will receive priority consideration for funding.

Hawaiʻi’s Sentinel Landscape designation prioritizes conservation funding, led by Trust for Public Land with federal, state and local partners. Photo courtesy of Trust for Public Land.

“Collaboration between local and federal agencies is critical to addressing Hawaiʻi’s most urgently needed conservation initiatives,” said Carlos Castillo, Hawaiʿi Sentinel Landscape Program Manager and Coordinator, Trust for Public Land. “With this designation, we look forward to supporting Hawaiʻi’s farmers and ranchers, advancing sustainable land management practices, stimulating our local economy and increasing public access to the outdoors.”  

The designation leverages tens of millions of additional dollars for land conservation, including farming and ranch land, watershed protection, habitat restoration management and climate resiliency in Hawaiʻi. It aims to enhance collaborative conservation, conserve natural and cultural resources, bolster agriculture, ranching and forestry, increase climate resilience, and support military readiness.

As a result of the designation, numerous projects aimed at enhancing conservation and resilience will be initiated throughout the state. These initiatives may include efforts to restore and protect critical habitats, enhance water quality and management, reduce vulnerability to natural disasters and promote sustainable land use practices. Examples of the types of projects that can be funded under the Sentinel Landscape include the permanent protection and purchase of agricultural and forested lands in Maunawili by Trust for Public Land in partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi and Native Hawaiian non-profits Hoʻokuaʻāina and Kaulukalana, as well as the permanent protection and purchase of privately owned critical watershed lands known as Kāneʻohe Pali in the Koʻolau Mountain Range by Trust for Public Land in partnership with the State.   

The steering committee for the initiative is comprised of local and federal agencies, including Trust for Public Land, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Hawaiʻi Conservation Alliance, Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Navy Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaiʻi, Pacific Missile Range Facility, Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi, and National Association of Conservation Districts.   

Since 2006, REPI and its partners have contributed nearly $162.4 million to REPI projects supporting four installations in Hawai‘i. TPL purchased or facilitated the protection of over 16,300 acres of land on Oʻahu in partnership with state, local, and NGO partners, conserving 10 special places using REPI funding, in addition to other sources of public and private funding. In 2022 alone, over 4.4 million acres of land were enrolled in financial and technical assistance programs, preserving wildlife habitat, bolstering agricultural and forestry production, and reducing land-use conflicts around military bases. 

For nearly twenty years, TPL has partnered with the DoD primarily through the REPI program, working with communities to maintain military readiness and protect natural resources through the reduction of incompatible development, conservation of habitat, and increasing climate resilience. The Sentinel Landscape designation was made possible by over a year of collaboration and facilitation by Trust for Public Land’s Sentinel Landscape Program Manager and Coordinator Carlos Castillo, whose position is supported by the Readiness Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) program via the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and two Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs) including Alakaʿina Foundation and The Hawaiʿi Pacific Foundation.

Since 2004, TPL has completed 94 projects nationwide with communities near 27 installations across 15 states. The impact of this work includes the protection of 170,000 acres thanks to more than $149 million of DoD funds and $206 million in other public and private investments. 


About Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected 4 million acres of public land; created 5,420 parks, trails, 200+ Community Schoolyards projects, and iconic outdoor places; raised $94 billion in public funding for parks and public lands; and brought parks and trails to within a 10-minute walk of home for nearly 9.7 million people. To learn more, visit