From the park’s low-elevation rainforests filled with waterfalls and rushing streams to the summit’s high volcanic deserts, you can pass through as many ecological zones on a trip from the shore to the crater’s rim as you would on a trip from Mexico to Canada.

With 80 percent of the park designated as Wilderness, Haleakala provides homes for some of Hawaii’s rarest plant and animal life, and is home to more endangered species than any other National Park Service (NPS) unit. These include the silversword, a rare plant found only in Hawaii, the nene (a native Hawaiian goose) and the Hawaiian petrel, a seabird that nests in colonies at the summit of the volcano.


With all the park’s biological riches, it’s no wonder that the NPS was eager to acquire the largest privately owned “inholding” within the park’s boundaries, a 4,100-acre ranch owned by James Campbell and stretching from the ocean to the crater’s rim.  When Campbell died in 2006, the NPS approached us to buy his ranch and hold it until federal funds became available to add the land to the park. We acquired the land from Campbell’s estate for  $3 million, and held it until 2008, when funds from the Land and Water Conservation fund LWCF were appropriated to transfer the property from the Fund to the Park Service.


The Campbell ranch was the largest undeveloped, privately-owned parcel within Haleakala. Acquiring it added almost a mile of Pacific Ocean frontage within the park’s boundaries, and opened 4,100 acres to the public for the first time in more than 100 years. Significant portions of the property are located within the Kahikunui Forest Reserve, which includes remnants of the biologically diverse koa forest ecosystem that once dominated the island of Maui. The reserve provides critical habitat for the endangered po’ouli bird and Maui parrotbill. The lower elevations have intact, dry wiliwili forests that provide habitat for the endangered Blackburn’s sphinx moth and Hawaiian hoary bat.


Haleakala National Park