“Aunty” Pele Hanoa
Native Hawaiian - Kahuku Ranch, Hawaii
The 116,000-acre Kahuku Ranch was protected from development in 2003 with $6 million from the Conservancy and $22 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Cuts to the fund could preclude such deals in the future.
The Volcano Goddess’ Place
Named for the goddess of Hawaii’s volcanoes, it is not surprising that Pele Hanoa has spent most of her 88 years trying to protect much of Hawaii’s big island. Today, Aunty Pele, as she’s so aptly known, uses her Outside Voice to speak for the importance of traditional lands in the preservation of Hawaiian culture.
One of those places is Kahuku Ranch on the slope of Mauna Loa, Earth’s largest known volcano. It’s also one of the most active, very much like Aunty Pele herself, who as a member of the Kapuna Council for more than 15 years remains a passionate advocate for Hawaii’s native lands and people. “I’m still fighting to save the land”, says Hanoa, “I’m trying to protect what we have left.”
A native Hawaiian, Hanoa wants to protect her land and the Hawaiian culture from over-development. “Only a few people like myself were born and raised in this area and we don’t want to see development come. We don’t want it to destroy our culture.”
“I love the culture – I love all Hawaiians and my culture. I want to teach my children to love their culture. This is the Volcano Goddess’ place.”
I know that investing in conservation is the only way we can help keep America beautiful, strong, prosperous and healthy. I am proud to join a community of people who speak up for nature to help save the places we love.