Annual CCH Board Meeting

The Annual CCH Board Meeting was held on February 1, 2016. Minutes from the meeting are available in PDF format.

If you or someone you know might be interested in volunteering to help the CCH please contact Vice President Mike Warner:, 518 253 6781. Your annual membership must be paid to vote or serve on the board of the CCH.

Minutes from the 2015 Members meeting are here.

Current Officers and Board Members of the Cave Conservancy of Hawaii as of April 2016:

Don Coons - President
Mike Warner - Vice President
Barb Coons - Treasurer
Ric Elhard - Secretary

Asa Aue term until 12/31/17
Peter Bosted term until 12/31/18
Tomislav Gracanin term until 12/31/17
Ken Ingham term until 12/31/17
Iolane Kauhane appointed at large
Steve Lewis term until 12/31/17
Steve Smith term until 12/31/16
Fred Stone term until 12/31/18


E komo mai - Welcome to our website.

The Cave Conservancy of Hawai'i is dedicated to the conservation, study, and management of caves in Hawai'i. The CCH combines the resources of cave explorers, educators, scientists, landowners, and conservation experts to save this unique - and important - environment.

Check out the latest news below, or just look around and see what we're doing.

CCH Logo



Don Coons, President

Ric Elhard, Secretary

Over the past 18+ years, land conservancies have been established in various regions of the mainland with one specific purpose in mind. Dozens of preserves have been established by these organizations in order to protect significant cave systems. Projects of this type have been completed by the Western Region Cave Conservancy (California, Oregon, Washington), the North Eastern Cave Conservancy (New York and New England states), the Southeast Cave Conservancy (Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky) and more than a dozen additional conservancies that operate in individual states or specific cave areas.

The Cave Conservancy of Hawai'i (CCH) was established as a non-profit 501-C-3 corporation in 2002. It grew as a grass roots organization originally formed by people with an interest in documenting cave resources on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Land owners and cave cartographers from various areas of the mainland realized the significance of the Hawaiian lava tube caves and the resources they contain. The original concept of the organization included several goals. Land acquisition, public awareness, education, and land owner relationships were the main focus. The Kipuka Kanohina Cave System near Ocean View has been the primary focus of the organization, though it is licensed to operate throughout the state of Hawai'i.

Specifically the CCH has been successful in purchasing land in this area in order to protect one of the most significant cave areas of the Big Island. From a geologic perspective, this cave system comprises one of the longest lava tube complexes currently known on the planet. The labyrinths of underground passages that comprise this system also preserve and protect a wealth of archeological resources. Documentation of this extensive cache of material has begun and promises to be an extremely valuable ongoing program. With funding we will continue to pursue this particular project and reach out to acquire other properties that contain significant resources. The CCH is also working in concert with the National Speleological Society (NSS) and other land conservancies on the Big Island. All lands acquired by the organization will be designated for conservation in perpetuity.


The overall management objective is to preserve cave systems from adverse impact inadvertently created by development of commercial or residential properties. Backfill for road and foundation placement, breaching by septic installation and use of puka entrances as landfills are some of the more significant threats. One prime objective of the organization is to survey and photograph the cave in order to record all significant resources. This is the first step in commencing research on the archeological, mineralogical and geological resources that the caves protect.


Lands that are owned by the conservancy will be designated as green areas within the existing subdivisions. An effort will also be made by the CCH in order to establish working relationships with land owners that have cave passages underlying their properties. Documenting the nature of the cave in relation to the surface and any structures, septic systems or roads that are to be constructed has proven to be a very effective tool that will both minimize impact to the cave and avoid dangerous construction hazards for the private land owner.


As an organization, the CCH has been successful in more than 50 acres overlying the Kanohina Cave System in Kau. All of these lands will be designated as preserve with no construction projects to be undertaken in these areas.

Signed agreements with private land owners in the subdivision are also in place. These documents establish a cooperative management effort between the CCH and many of our individual members. This effort ensures that another 45 acres of land overlying the system will be developed in a "cave friendly" fashion.


With the continuing support of membership and grant funding the organization expects to continue to acquire, document, and foster conservation awareness on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Establishing preserves in order to protect the valuable resources of this most unusual environmental niche will continue to be our primary mission.

The Cave Conservancy of Hawai'i is a 501(c)-3 tax-exempt organization. It is registered in the state of Hawai'i as a non-profit corporation and is a conservancy of the National Speleological Society.

This site copyright �� 2003-2012 by the Cave Conservancy of Hawai'i, Incorporated. PO Box 7032, Ocean View, HI 96737.
All rights reserved.