CRAMP Study Sites: Kuheia & Kaulana Ili, Island of Kaho‘olawe
Geographic Name: Kūheia Ili
Geographic Location - shoreline: Ridge crest between Papaka Nui and Kaulana (20o 35.7‘ N; 156o 35.9‘ W) southwest to ridge dividing Kaukamoku and Ahupū (20o 34.5‘ N; 156o 37.7‘ W).
Chart of Kūheia Ili coastline. (Click image for larger view.)
1993 NOAA aerial photo provided by Steve Rohmann. (Click image for larger view.)
Includes Kaulana Bay, Kūheia and Kaukamoku Bays. Kūheia Bay is a sheltered area that and provides one of the safest ocean access to Kaho‘olawe under year-round conditions.
Reef Structure, Habitat Classification:
This horse-shoe shaped bay has a narrow sand channel leading through the north side of the bay to one of the two small beaches. These sand deposits are separated by a rocky outcrop.
Adjacent Land Use and Influence:
This area was used as a prison facility in the nineteenth century. Subsequently, this land was used for cattle ranching operations. Remains of buildings and machinery associated with ranching are still evident today.
Human Use Patterns:
Presently unused, but the value of Kūheia as a safe landing area for coming ashore and presence of significant cultural features will probably lead to increased cultural and educational activity in the future.
Historical and Cultural Importance:
The Kūheia-Kaulani ili includes Puu Moaulaiki, which is one of the most sacred places o the island. This high spot offers the potential for training in astronomy, and ocean navigation. Kūheia is the site of a former penal colony under Queen Ka‘ahumanu.
Individual leases were granted from 1858 through 1956 for ranching operations including sheep, goats, and cattle. King Kalākaua during a visit in 1875 reported the existence of over 20,000 sheep and hundreds of goats on the island. At Kūheia four homes accommodated 6 people. Horses were also kept to facilitate ranching efforts.
In 1922, Angus MacPhee, previously an ‘Ulupalakua, Maui ranch manager, leased the island and established his headquarters at Kāheia. During WWII, the lease was given to the federal government. Once the war ended, the lease was not returned to MacPhee.
Last Update: 04/21/2008
By: Lea Hollingsworth
Hawai‘i Coral Reef Assessment & Monitoring Program
Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology
P.O. Box 1346
Kāne‘ohe, HI 96744