Learn more about Hakalau Forest
Getting involved, our Board of Directors, our annual meeting and more!
The Friends of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge (FOHF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2006 and devoted to helping the Refuge achieve its mission of conserving the flora and fauna of Hawaii. We provide vital fundraising, volunteer and advocacy support to help make Hakalau Forest NWR one of the most significant refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
FOHF has contributed directly to the quality of habitat at Hakalau Forest NWR by such efforts as providing volunteer labor to propagate and out-plant native trees and rare plants, conducting weed control efforts and by raising funds for the construction of much needed facilities including a 10,000 gallon tank to store water for the plant nursery and a new roof for the Volunteer Cabin.
FOHF is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who work to support the Refuge. The Board has a wealth of experience in history, biology, refuge management, nonprofit organization, education, law and information technology. The Board meets once a month in Hilo to receive updates from Refuge staff and decide how best to support current needs. Members wishing to attend should email via our CONTACT US page to confirm the meeting time and date. Our Annual Meeting is held each January in Hilo. Anyone interested in supporting FOHF is eligible for membership and can be considered for a committee position or the Board of Directors.
Restated FOHF bylaws can be found here. Our EIN number is 68-0634915.
Read about Hakalau Forest
Hana Hou, the Hawaiian Airlines magazine, profiles Baron Horiuchi, the Refuge horticulturist, in an article entitled “The Green Baron.”
A Return to the Aina: Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge in Ke Ola magazine by Brittany Anderson.
Debbie Anderson (President) is an entomologist by training but spent her career in marketing and advertising after earning an MBA at the University of Hawai’i. Debbie co-founded the annual Hawai’i Island Festival of Birds in 2016 to help draw national and international attention to Hawaii’s endangered endemic birds. The Festival brought many visitors to Hakalau for educational field trips.
Dr. Peter Stine (Vice President) has been involved in wildland conservation and management for over 40 years, from Florida, to the Pacific Northwest, Hawai’i, and California. The first half of his career was with the USFWS, including a 5 year assignment in Hawai‘i as the endangered species recovery coordinator. This work included the design and preparations for establishing Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. From 1984-1987 he worked closely with TNC and landowners to secure the sale of private lands to form the Refuge. For the last 20 years Dr. Stine been a research landscape ecologist with the Pacific Southwest Research Station of the US Forest Service in California.
Joe Vierra (Treasurer) was born and raised in Hawai’i. Joe graduated from M.I.T. with degree in Life Sciences. He is retired from Straub Hospital where he worked as a Critical Care Physician for 35 years. Joe has managed five rental properties on Kaua’i for the last 9 years. He has visited Hakalau Forest NWR for the past 25 years and continues to visit two to three times per year. Joe would like to help support the efforts to maintain and promote Hakalau Forest NWR in any way possible.
Susan Miyasaka (Secretary) is a retired professor of Agronomy from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, where she conducted research on alternative crops at the Komohana Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Hilo. She conducted three field trials at Hakalau NWR on mycorrhizal inoculation to determine whether early growth and survival of koa could be improved through this nursery practice. (Sadly, the answer was ‘no’, not under the environmental conditions at the Refuge.) Her hobby is photography and she enjoys the challenge of photographing native birds at Hakalau under the tutelage of Jack Jeffrey and has had prints accepted by the Hawaiʻi Nei Art Contest. She has been a member of Friends of Hakalau Forest NWR since 2010.
Members at Large
Kenneth R. Kupchak is a lawyer of Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert, a law corporation, and a former practicing meteorologist, who, with his wife Patty, has been volunteer planting in the Refuge for several decades , while serving on Boards of many community, educational and non-profit organizations in Hawai’i and the Country.
Jane Mayo is originally from York, PA, is retired as office manager/secretary/treasurer from a manufacturing service company, small business, that is focused on providing advanced design and build services to the automotive, defense, commercial and aerospace industries. Services include design and build of specialty machines, welders, gages, check fixtures, and progressive and multi-station dies. Additionally, the company is involved in the process of reverse engineering complex shapes and precision digital document conversions. Prior to that experience she worked in a family business as office manager of a manufactured housing development of 175 homes and ran a small sales office in the community. Jane’s activities & hobbies have included: riding instructor and judge for dressage and combined training; organized several horse shows; owning and lure coursing Scottish Deerhounds; birding in various countries; golf; travel. Living in Kohala by the Sea, she was chair of the Firewise Committee for several years. Since 2013 she has worked as a volunteer on the membership database for FOHF.
Dr. Mike Scott is a retired USFWS /USGS research Biologist. He spent his first ten years with USFWS in Hawai’i conducting a statewide endangered forest bird survey to identify the most important areas to conserve habitat for both birds and plants. The area that is now Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge was one of the hot spots. The information from the survey was used by the Nature Conservancy and others to establish Hakalau Refuge.
Marcia Stone was brought up in New England and moved to Hawai’i in 1990. In 2007 she and her husband retired to Hawai‘i Island where they are restoring a one-acre native forest around their house. Marcia volunteers with the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, doing work in the nursery and restoring forests.
Jamie Tanino is a Watershed Resource Specialist at the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. She previously worked at the Army Natural Resources Program – O’ahu for eleven years as a Field Technician, Rare Snail Specialist, and Field Supervisor. She first volunteered at Hakalau Forest with the Sierra Club, Oahu Chapter in May 2010 and immediately fell in love with the Forest and enjoyed working and learning from Baron Horiuchi. Since then, she has led or joined 40 volunteer weekend trips.
Phil Tinguely, President of Tinguely Development, Inc. (TDI), is a 35-year Kona resident and businessman. In addition to pursuing conventional development opportunities in the residential and commercial sectors and is currently working with numerous community service providers including the Salvation Army, YWCA, and Hope Services. Tinguely Development is also focusing efforts to help address the “affordable housing” and “homeless” crisis having aligned with the Hawai’i Island Community Development Corp. and (Phil) as a Board Member on the Housing and Land Enterprise of Hawai’i County (HALE O HAWAI’I), LAND TRUST. Both entities actively working on projects on the Hawai’i Island. He has also worked on construction projects at the Hawaii Wildlife Center in North Kohala, several charter schools in Kona and Waimea, the Hawai’i Island Humane Society Animal Shelter and Vet Clinic in Kona, and several other non-profit organizations.
Ross Wilson is the President of Current Events, a strategic communications agency in Kailua-Kona. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Kailua Village Business Improvement District and as the West Hawai’i Field Representative for U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono. He currently serves as the Co-board chair for Ahu’ena Heiau, Inc., member of the Board of Directors of CU Hawai’i, member of the Pōhakuloa Training Area Advisory Council and many other Hawai’i-Island based boards. Ross was the 2021 Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year and received the 2012 University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2010 Hawai‘i Community College Mahalo Award. He grew up in Hilo, graduated from Hilo High School and the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and resides in Hōlualoa in West Hawai’i.
Peter T Young was born and raised on O‘ahu. After 25-years in private real estate practice, he entered public service, first as Deputy Managing Director of Hawaiʻi County (2000-2003) then as Director/Chairperson of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and Chairperson of the Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) (2003-2007). Starting in 2007, and continuing today, he operates Ho‘okuleana LLC, a real estate planning and consulting firm. In 2023, the Honpa Hongwanji designated Peter T. Young a Living Treasure of Hawai‘i. Some other awards he has received include, Hawaiʻi Conservation Alliance’s Outstanding Leadership Award; Hawaiʻi Audubon Society’s President’s Award; Historic Hawai‘i Foundation’s Individual Achievement Award; and American Red Cross (West Hawai‘i) Volunteer of the Year and Clara Barton Leadership Award. Since 2011, Peter has posted daily historical summaries calling attention to people, places and events in Hawai‘i’s past. These are on social media and at www.ImagesOfOldHawaii.com.
Chris Yuen is Hilo born and bred. From St. Josephs to Stanford (Biology) to the State University of New York (Masters Forestry) to UH Law; Chris then then dabbled in private practice, Deputy Corporate Counsel, County Planning Director and became the owner of a 20-acre certified organic farm. Along the way he has served his community in many ways: two 8 year terms on the State Land Board (where he helped negotiate the Awake`e-Manini`owali land exchange and a revision of the conservation district rules), Vice President of Ka ‘Ahahui o Pu’uwa’awa’a and Friends of Makalawena. Chris has planted trees at the Refuge and has been involved in a number of pro bono efforts representing access and sensitive area protection.