Hawaii Department of Natural Resources

In Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) manages the state parks and other natural resources of the state for the present and the future generations.  The DLNR enhances, protects, conserves, and manages Hawaii’s unique and limited natural, cultural, and historic resources that are held in public trust in the state.  The DLNR is headed by an executive board known as the board of land and natural resources.

In general, some of the functions of the DLNR are:

  • to manage, administer, and exercise control over public lands, water resources, ocean waters, navigable streams, coastal areas, and minerals, except commercial harbor areas; and
  • to manage and administer state parks, historical sites, forests, forest reserves, aquatic life, aquatic life sanctuaries, public fishing areas, boating, ocean recreation, coastal programs, wildlife, wildlife sanctuaries, game management areas, public hunting areas, natural area reserves, and other functions assigned by law.


The DLNR is comprised of the following eleven divisions:

  • Division of Aquatic Resources- Protects aquatic resources, native and resident aquatic species and their habitat; manages state’s marine and freshwater resources; provides facilities and opportunities for recreational fishing; and issues fishing licenses;
  • Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation-Manages and administers statewide ocean recreation and coastal areas programs relating to the ocean waters and navigable streams of the state;
  • Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement-Enforces DLNR’s activities, all state laws and rules involving state lands, state parks, historic sites, forest reserves, aquatic life and wildlife areas, coastal zones, conservation districts, state shores, as well as county ordinances involving county parks.  The division also enforces laws pertaining to firearms, ammunition, and dangerous weapons;
  • Engineering Division- Provides technical support in protecting and managing Hawaii’s natural resources;
  • Hunter Education Program- introduces the principles of sustaining state’s resources;
  • Bureau of Conveyances- Maintains an accurate, timely, and permanent record system for title to real property;
  • Division of Forestry and Wildlife-Manages state-owned forests, natural areas, public hunting areas, and plant and wildlife sanctuaries.  They also issue hunting permits;
  • Historic Preservation Division-Preserves and sustains reminders of earlier times which link the past to the present;
  • Land Division-Manages state-owned lands in accordance with the goals, policies, and plans of the state for the well-being of Hawaii’s people.  The land division also serves as an office of record and maintains a central repository of all government documents;
  • Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands-oversees approximately 2 million acres of private and public lands that lie within the State Land Use Conservation District; and
  • Division of State Parks-Manages and administers 52 state parks encompassing nearly 25,000 acres on the 5 major islands.


Department of Land and Natural Resources

Inside Hawaii Department of Natural Resources