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A resolution adopted at the 7th Pacific Science Congress in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand in February 1949 called for a conservation or nature-protection body to be formed in Hawai‘i. A year later, on August 9, 1950, the Conservation Council for Hawai‘i was formed under the initiative of the staff of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and others for the purpose of “furthering conservation in its various aspects in the Hawaiian Islands to the end of betterment of human welfare therein.” Dozens of representatives of organizations, agencies, and landowners sat on the Council before it became a grassroots membership organization.

Conservation Council for Hawai‘i is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation—the nation's largest wildlife organization—in the 1970s. In 1980, it received non-profit, tax-exempt status and launched its membership campaign in 1996. It has grown from a few dozen dedicated volunteers to over 5,500 dues-paying members and supporters. The first full-time staff person was hired in 2003.

Highlights from 60 Years of Protecting Hawaiian Wildlife and Wild Places

1950s   1960s    1970s   1980s   1990s   2000s

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