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Iconic Maui Views Preserved

HI - The Erdman family is proud to be a part of this historic preservation agreement of Ulupalakua Ranch. 11,300 acres along the leeward slopes of Haleakala in Maui will be protected forever as a working ranch and wildlife habitat.
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Iconic Maui Views Preserved

Working Ranch, Iconic Maui Views Protected Forever

Maui Coastal Land Trust and the Erdman family, owners of Ulupalakua Ranch, are proud to announce a historic land preservation agreement ensuring 11,300 acres along the leeward slopes of Haleakala will continue as a working ranch and wildlife habitat. A corollary benefit is the permanent protection of one of Maui’s most iconic views: the rolling green hills of Ulupalakua. This is the largest-ever voluntary easement donation in the state of Hawai`i.

The vision to safeguard their family-run ranching operation and the perpetuity of Ulupalakua’s natural areas and open vistas drove the Erdman’s decision to donate the conservation easement. “Fifty years ago as a young geologist I was sent scouting all over the island. Standing down in what is now Wailea, I remember looking up the hill to admire the view—I didn’t know I’d be saving it someday,” reflects Pardee Erdman, owner of Ulupalakua Ranch.

Ulupalakua Ranch, the island’s second largest cattle ranch, operates on approximately 18,000 acres—two thirds of which are now permanently protected for this traditional lifestyle and culture. The area has a rich history of agriculture use. Pardee Erdman purchased the ranch in 1963 from the Baldwin family. Prior to cattle ranching, the land was used to farm sugar cane, potatoes and corn, and before that, sweet potato, dry land taro, and specialty hardwoods such as sandalwood and koa.

The agriculture easement agreements apply to two large contiguous parcels, including 6,000 acres on the western slopes of the ranch, mauka of the highway and extending from ranch headquarters up to the boundary of Poli Poli State Park. This area is primarily used for livestock grazing, farming and agri-farming. The second parcel consists of the entire `Auwahi ahupua`a, a 5,328 rectangular parcel running lengthwise from the ocean shore up the mountain to 6,000 ft. elevation. The mauka portion of this ahupua`a is home to the `Auwahi Habitat Restoration Project led by conservationist Art Medeiros, and is part of the Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership.

With this addition, Maui Coastal Land Trust, the first land trust in Hawai`i to become nationally accredited, now oversees 15,837 acres of protected lands on Maui and Molokai. “It is both humbling and inspiring to work with families like the Erdmans who have such a strong love for the land,” says the land trust's executive director Dale Bonar. “For all generations to come, the people of Maui will benefit thanks to their vision and what has been accomplished with this historic land preservation agreement.”

Nationally accredited Maui Coastal Land Trust is a non-profit organization with the mission of preserving and protecting coastal areas and culturally and environmentally significant lands in Maui Nui for perpetuity. For more details on the organization and its protected lands, call (808) 244-5263 or visit

Media Coverage

Ulupalakua donation 'A pledge to preserve open space on Maui'
The Maui News | November 29, 2009

A selfless act benefits us all
The Maui News, Editorial | November 29, 2009

Maui creates Hawaii's largest conservation easement
Associated Press | November 29, 2009

Ranch's gift will preserve 11,300 acres of Haleakala slopes for agricultural use Honolulu Star-Bulletin | November 28, 2009

Maui ranch agrees to historic land deal
KGMB - Hawaii News Now | November 26, 2009

Ulupalakua acres to stay open land Ranch donates 12,000 acres for easement to Maui land trust
The Maui News | November 26, 2009

Photo courtesy of Maui Coastal Land Trust

November 30, 2009

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