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In Memorium

Don Reeser, retired superintendent of Haleakala National Park and co-founder of the Friends of Haleakala National Park, passed away on March 9, 2019.  

Don Reeser was the quintessential Friend of Haleakala National Park.   
Seeing the benefit of strong community involvement, Don helped found the Friends of Haleakala National Park while he was superintendent  and
served on its board of directors after his retirement.   Don was relentless in his efforts to promote, protect and improve our Park.   Projects that he initiated and led including expansion of the Park, fencing to keep out ungulates to protect and restore the native environment and an agreement to keep helicopter sight-seeing tours out of the Park continue to have a huge positive impact on the Park and its visitors.   While serving with him on the FHNP board, I came to appreciate Don's generosity, wisdom and gentle leadership.   We will miss you Don.

See to read Jill Engledow's story about Don. 

One-day service activity in the park's nursery 

The Friends of Haleakala National Park are offering a new one-day service activity at the park’s plant nursery in the Haleakala summit district on the first Tuesday of each month.  The next date will be April 2.

Volunteers will help park horticulturist Michelle Osgood with jobs involving caring for the rare, endemic plants being propagated, such as transplanting, weeding, cleaning and preparing seeds for storage or planting, and some pot washing.  The park recycles pots which have to be carefully cleaned to prevent the spread of plant diseases. There may sometimes be some out planting, but most of the service work is done inside, and participants can drive up to the location of the work.

Those interested should call Mary at 572-1584 for a reservation and to arrange a carpool which will be from Pukalani up to the park at 8:00 am on the 2nd

Participants should bring water, lunch and snacks, and their own gloves if desired. The park will provide other tools. Wear sturdy shoes, and in case of out planting work, bring a hat and sunscreen.

Haleakala National Park during the government shutdown - you can help
Haleakala National Park remains open during the partial government shutdown.  However, many NPS employees have been furloughed, hence services are reduced. 

  • Rules are still in force.   ...  Stay on Trail.  Leave rocks, plants and animals be.   Haul out your trash, no drones, no dogs.  etc.  
  • Visitors' Centers are closed
  • Pools at Oheo are closed
  • Cabins are closed
  • Volunteer trail stewards are not working.
  • Bathrooms at visitors centers are open and are being maintained.  (We understand that the work is being performed by NPS personnel, funded by the tour operators.  Mahalo to them!)
  • Trash receptacles at the parking lots are being emptied, again by NPS personnel. 
  • A small NPS incident team is monitoring the Park. 
  • The Park's pack animals are being fed and cared for. 

The Park is still a popular destination.  Tours are still visiting the Park as are many independent visitors, hikers and campers.  FHNP has been visiting the Park and collecting information, picking up trash,  answering visitor questions.    Facilities, including campgrounds, are in good shape.   The back-country outhouses are not being cleaned, however we have been providing toilet paper for hikers to carry in and leave in the outhouses.    

You can help by joining the FHNP effort to inform park visitors
The FHNP set up an information table at the summit visitors center parking lot last weekend.  This was very well received and we would like to do this every weekend until the government re-opens.   FHNP volunteers staffing the table were available to answer any questions from visitors to the Park and remind them of the rules. Most of the questions were related to where to hike and what to see,  with some additional volcano or endangered species related questions.    We would appreciate your help in staffing the information table.  If there are enough people who can help,  we can have a presence at other places in the Park as well.    We are looking for volunteers who have a basic knowledge of Haleakala National Park and are willing to volunteer for a ~4 hour shift either in the morning or in the afternoon on either weekend days.   If you are interested in volunteering,  please contact Mele at     She will help setup the schedule and organize rides and materials. 

While the Park appears to be weathering the shutdown,  there are many crucial activities that are NOT being done.    All invasive species control efforts are stopped.   This means that the rats, cats and mongees are not being actively controlled.    Invasive plants are not being controlled.    The fence is not being checked or repaired.   The trails, roads, signs and structures are not being maintained.   Research and scientific study is all on hold. These are significant threats to the health of our Park.    All NPS supported volunteer projects are on hold.  The FHNP had to cancel our January service trip.  So far, we are still hopeful that the government will re-open in time for our February trip to Holua.     If you have other ideas on how to help,  please write us. 


 Annual Membership Meeting -  January 7

The Friends of Haleakala National Park invite the public and all past and present volunteers to their annual membership  meeting to be held Monday, January 7, 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center downstairs meeting room, 91 Pukalani Street, across from the Pukalani Terrace Shopping Center. 

Refreshments will be served.

Park representatives (if available) and Friends officers will give updates about 2018 achievements and challenges, and attendees can contribute to discussion of upcoming plans for work to protect and improve the park in 2019. FHNP members present at the meeting will elect Board Members for 2019. 

FHNP Membership is $30 per year.  You can become a member at the annual meeting or anytime by clicking the DONATE NOW button to the left and completing the form to donate using your credit card. 

The FHNP board suggests re-electing the current board members.   Members may nominate others to join the board at the annual meeting.

Fall 2018 Newsletter is available 

See the Newsletter section of our website to see the Fall 2018 (and previous editions) FHNP Newsletter. 

Science and Culture Night at Kohola Brewery  - November 28 

The Friends of Haleakalā National Park invite the public to join them to talk story and enjoy a cold brew at the Koholā Brewery, a local craft micro-brewery at 910 Honoapiilani Hwy. in Lahaina, on Wednesday evening November 28, between 6:00 and 8:00 pm. 

The benefit “Science and Culture Night with the Friends of Haleakalā National Park” will showcase the non-profit’s work to support the national park and help native species thrive on Haleakalā.  Attendees can also learn about opportunities to volunteer with the group in the Crater, at the summit plant nursery or in Kipahulu, to donate to the Endangered Species Fund, and even to “Adopt a Nene.”

Drinks and food are available for purchase from the brewery and the Ono Taco food truck.

 Heading to Kīpahulu next week? Bring your own water!

Repairs to the main waterline in the Kīpahulu District of Haleakalā National Park will result in water fountain and restroom closures in Kīpahulu starting Monday, July 30, 2018. A leak was discovered during routine inspections. Visitors should bring their own drinking water and plan on using portable toilets until further notice.

Twilight ‘Ua‘u Discover - May 12 

Join the Friends of Haleakalā National Park for an evening of observing Hawaiian petrels on Saturday, May 12, from 7pm to 9pm. These federally endangered seabirds are known to Hawaiians as ‘ua‘u (pronounced “oo-A-oo”). They spend most of their lives at sea, but during the summer months, they nest in underground burrows hidden in the volcanic cinders of Haleakalā summit. Hawaiian petrels make strange and wonderful noises as they wing home. Wildlife biologist Fern Duvall and staff from the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project will be on hand to share insights about the birds’ biology and tips for viewing the endangered species. The biologists will give a short talk about the species' remarkable abilities to fly long distances while foraging. 

 Night vision goggles will be available.  Attendees should bring warm, windproof clothing, since temperatures near the summit can be frigid, and flashlights with, if possible, red filters which can be made with red cellophane over the light. Temperatures near the summit can be frigid. Those wanting to record the birds’ calls should also bring recording devices. The event is free, but attendees will need to pay the park’s entrance fee or present a valid pass.

 Meet at the Haleakalā Visitor Center (near the summit). Please allow 45 minutes driving time from Pukalani.


Join the Friends of Haleaka on a service trip over the Prince Kuhio day weekend.   Arlene will lead a group of up to 12 participants who will backpack into Kapalaoa cabin on Saturday.  They will spend Sunday on service work in the wilderness on a project chosen by the NPS and the trip leader.   The group will complete their tasks on Monday, then hike back to the trailhead.    There is no fee to participate.   You must be fit enough to backpack the approximately 7 miles to and from Kapalaoa.   The NPS can loan some backpacking equipment if needed.    Please contact Arlene for more information and to register for the trip.   For more information about this and other FHNP events,  see


The NPS Junior Ranger Program invites youths to earn a Junior Ranger badge, learn about the endangered 'ope'ape'a (Hawaiian hoary bat) and take a hike with Park staff on Tuesday. There is no charge for this event. The talk about the endangered 'ope'ape'a from 10 to 11 a.m. with bat researcher Kristin Jonasson, and hike on the unique biodiversity of Haleakala from 11 a.m. to noon will take place at Hosmer Grove.   In the Kipahulu District, there will be a hike along the Kuloa Point trail fro 10 to 11 a.m with a park ranger.  For more information go to


Applications are being accepted for the 2018 'Imi i ka Lama Collegiate Internship Program at Haleakala National Park. There will ne six positions available in the fields of endangered wildlife management, facilities management, interpretation, cultural resource management, team leader and visitor/resource protection.   Hawaii residents who are attending college are encouraged to apply.  Interns are eligible to earn a living allowance. Graduates of the program will also be eligible to to earn an AmeriCorps Education Award. Candidates must be available full time from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 11 - Aug. 3.  Applications and other required documents must be received by 4 p.m. on March 31.  For more information and to obtain an application packet, contact Internship Coordinator Honeygirl Duman at (808) 572-4455 or

Makawao Rodeo Parade - July 1

Would you like to join the NPS and the Friends of Haleakala NP and march in the Makawao Rodeo parade?   FHNP logo T-shirts will be available for participants.    If you want to march,  please contact

Entry Fees have Increased

Fees to enter Haleakala National Park have increased slightly starting June 1.  These increases bring Haleakala in line with national rates for similar National Parks.   Entry fees for Haleakala are still one of the best deals in the Islands,  especially the Tri-Park yearly pass. 

The fee for a 3-day vehicle pass is now $25.  The price of a yearly Tri-Park pass is now  $30.   See more at

Free Weekend Admission and Special Events during National Park Week, April 15-23, 2017
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Kīpahulu Expedition during National Park Week, April 15 through 23, 2017. On Monday, April 17, 2017 at 1pm, take part in the “Kīpahulu Expedition Talk Story” with Dr. Ken Kaneshiro, who was on the original expedition, and Dr. Samuel M. ‘Ohukani‘ōhi‘a Gon, III, from The Nature Conservancy. April 22 and 23, 2017 will be Junior Ranger Weekend, with family activities in both districts. In addition, walks, talks, trivia, and demonstrations will be offered in both districts throughout the week. Activity times and locations will be posted at all visitor centers.

Entrance fees will be waived on weekends; however, visitors wishing to viewing sunrise between 3am and 7am must still make an online sunrise reservation and pay the $1.50 per car reservation fee at Online sunrise reservations are available until 4pm the day before a planned sunrise visit.

Here is a list of activities at Haleakalā NP during National Park Week:
Kīpahulu District
Kīpahulu Expedition “Talk Story”
On Monday, April 17, 2017 from 1pm-2:30pm, Dr. Ken Kaneshiro, who participated in the 1967 expedition, Dr. Sam Gon, and other Nature Conservancy and park staff will talk story with visitors about the historic expedition and the valley then and now. The Talk Story event will take place near the Kīpahulu Visitor Center.
The 1967 Kīpahulu Expedition, a collaboration between The Nature Conservancy, the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bishop Museum, and the University of Hawaii, was the upper Kīpahulu Valley’s first large scale, documented scientific exploration. Scientists were led by local guides throughout the remote rainforest. The expedition documented numerous bird, plant, and insect species, including many new to science. The remote valley is one of the last intact native rainforests in Hawai`i. It is protected within Haleakalā National Park as the Kīpahulu Biological Reserve. To view the expedition’s scientific report, visit:īpahulu -Valley-Expedition.pdf

Hana No`eau (Honoring Native Hawaiian Traditions)
April 15-23, 2017 Daily, 1pm-3pm
Staff and partners will offer cultural demonstrations near the visitor center. Stop by and learn coconut weaving, lei making, lauhala weaving, poi pounding, or how to catch fish with a throw net.

Summit District
Daily walks, talks, or other activities will be offered daily. Activity times and locations will be posted at all visitor centers. The following introductory hikes will also be offered:
Monday, April 17, 2017 10am and 11am: Geology 101, at Haleakalā Visitor Center, on the crater rim.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 10am: Birds 101. Meet at Hosmer Grove Nature Trail. (Take the first left after the summit entrance station. The trail is at the end of this side road).

Both Districts
Junior Ranger Weekend

Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, 2017
To celebrate Earth Day, earn a junior ranger badge, and learn how to be good caretakers of the park, kids and families can take part in activities about volcanoes, endangered species, and Hawaiian cultural traditions. (Junior ranger booklets are also available year round at any visitor center or at
Saturday, April 22, 2017: Kīpahulu District, by the visitor center, 1pm-3pm
Sunday, April 23, 2017: Summit District, Headquarters Visitor Center (7,000 ft. elevation), 9am-2pm

“This year’s National Park Week theme is “Parks 101,” said Chief of Interpretation Polly Angelakis. “We hope families will take advantage of our fee free weekends, especially Junior Ranger Weekend. Also, on Monday, April 17, we’ll celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kīpahulu Expedition. This important expedition was the first of its kind in the remote Kīpahulu rainforest and eventually led to this ecosystem and its species being protected.”
For more information, please visit or

Sunrise Viewing - Reservations required starting February 1

Reservations will be required to enter the Haleakala NP summit district starting February 1, 2017.  See the Park's website for details.  (see the FHNP Links section for the website address). 

Park’s Commercial-Free Days Set

Commercial-free days have been established for Haleakalā National Park for the remainder of 2016 and early 2017. As specified in the park’s Commercial Services Plan, commercial-free days are opportunities for Kanaka Maoli to conduct traditional cultural practices in the park without commercial tours present. The next set of commercial-free dates will be: 

  • Summer solstice (June 21, 2016)
  • Lolopua, one of the two days commonly known as zenith noon (July 18, 2016)
  • Start of Makahiki - 1st rites begin on kapu period of Hua (October 11, 2016)
  • Winter solstice (December 21, 2016)
  • End of Makahiki - after kapu period of Hua (January 10, 2017)
  • Summer solstice (June 21, 2017)

Although no commercial tours will be allowed on these days, the park will remain open to all visitors. Regular visitor entrance fees will apply. In determining these commercial-free dates, park officials sought input from Native Hawaiian staff, community members, the Bishop Museum, and the park’s kūpuna group.

“We hope the community will continue to take advantage of these commercial-free days and come to their park,” said Superintendent Natalie Gates.

Photo by Christa Matthews


The general purpose of the FRIENDS OF HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK, INC., a Hawai'i non-profit corporation, is to support educational, cultural, research, and service activities relating to the park and its ecosystems.


The mission of the Friends of Haleakala National Park  is to assist the park and the National Park Service to achieve the purposes and goals for which they were established: to preserve Haleakala's unique ecosystems, scenic character, and associated Native Hawaiian cultural and spiritual resources. The Friends  also provide educational, inspirational, and recreational opportunities compatible with preserving the many natural, cultural, and spiritual resources of Haleakala so as to leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

Directors & Officers

Matt Wordeman, President
Shannon Wianecki, Vice President
Mele Stokesberry, Secretary
Andy Fox, Treasurer
Mary Santa Maria, Director
Martha E. Martin, Director
Don Reeser, Director
Tano Taitano, Director

Advisory Board

Mary Evanson
Farley Jacob
Fern Duvall II

Kiope Raymond

Friends of Haleakala National Park
P.O. Box 322 ~ Makawao, HI 96768
(808) 876-1673 ~