1790- Sandalwood export began, Sandalwood was once abundant in Puna prior to 1820 1810-1825-peak of Sandalwood export
1800-Coffee main crop
1899- Ola’a Sugar Company founded, renamed Puna sugar co. in 1960, extended plantation in 1984 from Keaau, Mt. view, Pahoa, to Kapoho. 1948 Maunloa Macnut Corp. First harvest in 1956. Now owned by Hersheys. 1958-1973-52,500 subdivisions were created, today nearly 2,500 of them have been covered by Lava. 1976-first Geothermo drilling, today they have six wells and provide 25% of Hawaii’s’ power. 1983- Volcano eruption, is on going today.
Ancient Hawaiians recognized Puna as the land of Pele.
Puna contains 45% of county’s total subdivided lots, due to low build out percentage, it has the highest growth rate in the island 66% in the past 10 yrs., and only about ¼ of the lots in Puna has been developed. 85% of Hawaii’s Section 8 low income renters reside in puna. Subdivisions are accessed by private unpaved roads or streets, intersections and private roads are dangerous often lacking visual, and are subject to volcanic seismic hazards. All of puna lies within the three most hazardous geological risk zones, 6,400 lots lay in zone F1 and 2,038 lots have been cut off or covered by Lava, 10% of Puna has been covered by Lava. Evacuation is a problem, lack of emergency routes and congested highways. Cesspools endanger the quality of aqua filters and coastal waters. Western part of Puna is dominated by Hawaii Volcano National Park.
Ola’a sugar company / Puna sugar company
Forest Reserves- Upper Waiakea, Waiakea, Ola’a, Nanawale, Malama Ku, Keau’ohana, Waokele o Puna, Kahauale’a, Pua’maka hay
State parks- Mckanzie, Lava tree monument, Isaac hale beach park, Ahalanui Beach Park County parks-W.H. shipman, Pahoa, Mountain View, Kurtis Town, Hawaiian Beaches.