Hawai’i Life Appoints Beth Thoma Robinson As Director of Conservation and Legacy Lands

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Beth Thoma Robinson R(B) to the role of Director of Conservation and Legacy Lands at Hawai‘i Life Real Estate Brokers. In this newly established position, Beth will lead our company’s initiative toward the preservation of Hawai‘i’s natural and cultural resources. Our goal is to generate awareness of the role that conservation plays in Hawai‘i’s future.

  North Kohalaʻs historic Kapanaiʻa Bay ( MLS 272634 ) is on the list for County open space purchase.

North Kohalaʻs historic Kapanaiʻa Bay (MLS 272634) is on the list for County open space purchase.

Beth will serve as a resource to conservation-minded property sellers and buyers statewide. She will help identify and track conservation priorities across Hawaiʻi, particularly those properties that are either for sale or potentially coming to market. Beth will seek to further develop our committed pool of buyers and donors for the unique category of conservation properties, with a view towards stewardship of these unique places for future generations.

“Land is a zero-sum game in Hawai‘i, and it is among our most precious natural and cultural resources. Creating this position, a Director of Conservation and Legacy Lands, enables us to use our reach and influence to further conserve land, both for future generations and also for its own sake. And Beth is so clearly the right person for this role,” said Hawai‘i Life CEO Matt Beall.

  Conservation values include cultural sites and resources as well as environmental sensitivity.

Conservation values include cultural sites and resources as well as environmental sensitivity.

Beth was one of the first agents to join our team on the Big Island in 2009 and she was named a Broker-in-Charge in 2015. She’s been a valued member of our team and a successful broker since then. This is the first role dedicated to conservation by any brokerage firm in Hawai‘i. Beth will spearhead the conservation movement within Hawai‘i Life, guiding our team while building a forum for education and defining best practices within our organization. “I’m honored and humbled to be appointed to this new role as Conservation Director, a way to combine my real estate knowledge with my passion for protecting this special part of the world,” said Robinson.

“As a practicing real estate broker, she has been representing sellers of conservation and legacy properties since joining Hawai’i Life and has worked closely with her community in North Kohala to protect hundreds of acres. Now she will share this expertise in legacy properties with our brokers, agents, and clients across the state,” added Beall.

  Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden ( MLS 613942 ) has intact remnants of the Kona Field System.

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden (MLS 613942) has intact remnants of the Kona Field System.

What Constitutes a Conservation Property?

Conservation properties are usually deemed exceptional because of their scenic beauty, wildlife habitat, or environmental sensitivity. Here in Hawaiʻi, we are unique in also having an abundance of culturally sensitive properties. These are defined as worthy of preservation by the local community and cultural practitioners, augmented by the science of archeology in cataloging specifics. As a result, there is an aspect of conservation here in Hawai‘i that requires ties and sensitivity to communities and their history, values, and knowledge of the land.

  Conservation easements have been used to protect ranch and agricultural properties across Hawaiʻi.

Conservation easements have been used to protect ranch and agricultural properties across Hawaiʻi.

Current Hawai‘i Life Conservation Land Listings on Hawaiʻi Island

In her home community of North Kohala on the Big Island, Beth worked actively for many years with our client sellers and the community to seek Hawai‘i County Council resolutions. These were passed in December 2015, approving the purchase of the Hapuʻu to Kapanaiʻa Cultural Corridor and adjacent Halelua properties for protection with Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation (PONC) funds.

“Our listing at historic Kapanaiʻa Bay including a portion of Kapalama Heiau is next in line to be acquired by the County. In addition to the recreational and scenic values to be preserved, this is an area of high cultural significance. For example, Kamehameha I built the canoe ramp located at Kapanaʻia Bay. Kapalama is recognized as one of the largest platform pavement type heiau on the Hawai‘i Island.

The nearby Halelua property listed by Hawai‘i Life will connect the Hapu‘u to Kapanaiʻa corridor with another former Hawai‘i Life listing, the Kauhola Point acreage acquired by the Trust for Public Land in 2012, thus protecting a large portion of the shoreline deemed top preservation priority by the North Kohala Community Development Plan.

  Conservation easements on wetlands traditionally used for kalo (taro) production since pre-contact times help to preserve areas of cultural significance.

Conservation easements on wetlands traditionally used for kalo (taro) production since pre-contact times help to preserve areas of cultural significance.

As a result of Hawai‘i Lifeʻs track record and reputation in the conservation domain, we were recently asked by Bishop Museum to list and find the next steward for the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden. Our goal as a listing brokerage is to work with community organizations to seek matching funds for the County purchase of these properties, or find a conservation buyer whose purchase would allow County funds to focus on other priorities on the PONC list. With Bethʻs appointment to the Conservation Director position, this expertise can now be shared statewide.

  Interpretative signage at Amy Greenwell Garden educates visitors about pre-contact agriculture.

Interpretative signage at Amy Greenwell Garden educates visitors about pre-contact agriculture.

Hawai‘i Life’s Conservation Leadership

Hawai‘i Life and the company’s CEO and principal broker Matt Beall have been actively working in support of land conservation in Hawaiʻi through their leadership at the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT). HILT was founded in 2011 through the merger of four island land trusts, combining their resources to take land conservation in the state to the next level.

Hawai‘i Life and the Hawai‘i Life Charitable Fund joined a group of visionary donors as HILT’s Founding Few by making three-year financial commitments at HILT’s inception. Both Beall and Hawai‘i LIfeʻs Director of Corporate Services Sarah Bakewell serve on the Board of HILT and Beall is the immediate past Chair.

In 2015, Hawai‘i Life and the Hawai‘i Life Charitable Fund joined the Na Koa ‘Aina Distinguished Fellows Program of HILT, a steadfast group of supporters of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust mission “to protect the lands that sustain us for current and future generations.”

  Much like Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Hawaiiʻi Lifeʻs conservation practice will cover the entire state.

Much like Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, Hawaiiʻi Lifeʻs conservation practice will cover the entire state.

Our Conservation & Legacy Lands Resource

Our website will feature Hawai‘i Life’s conservation listings at conservation.hawaiilife.com, as well as those of other brokerage firms, as these properties have a sense of urgency. We will also have information on other properties that have been identified for their conservation values, but which are not on the market. You will also find Conservation Real Estate related reference materials, along with relevant articles and event information. We will present information specifically tailored to owners of conservation and legacy properties in Hawaiʻi, as well as to potential buyers or donors. Please watch this space!

BethThomaRobinson_300.jpg
 

To learn more about Beth Thoma Robinson, please view her webpage here.