Perpetuating Hawaii’s rangelands through sound land stewardship, thereby preserving open space, supporting local food production, and promoting enhanced eco-system services attributable to Hawaii’s rangelands through education and advocacy.
Founded in 2014, the Hawaii Rangeland Stewardship Foundation (HRSF), through its charitable and educational activities, provides support for Hawaii’s grazing and rangeland stakeholders. HRSF exists to strengthen rangeland prosperity through education and advocacy of the contributions the grazing, and particularly, the cattle industry in Hawaii make daily to our rangelands, our economy and the perpetuation of the culture and lifestyle historically associated with these lands. Its partners include the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council (HCC), Hawaii Grazing Lands Coalition (HGLC) and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council (HBIC), with each partner focusing on supporting individual segments and projects which affect the viability of Hawaii’s rangelands.
Since the time of Kamehameha III, Hawaii’s paniolo have been managing vast tracts of rangelands across the Hawaiian Islands. That legacy continues today, and through it so too are the traditions of conservation, culture, land stewardship, local enterprise and locally grown food. Rangeland managers, primarily ranchers, are the stewards of over 750,000 acres of land in Hawaii, or 20% of the State’s total land mass. Well-managed rangelands provide valuable ecosystem services at no direct cost to the general public through the daily prudent stewardship of these natural resources. Unfortunately, a growing segment of Hawaii’s community may be losing the vital connection between their food, the land and important community benefits that flow from these rangelands. There often exists a misperception that ranching and rangeland management is inconsistent with sustainable resource conservation and responsible land stewardship.