Hawaiian sustainable hardwoods company launched
Master grade koa guitar set from Parker Ranch log.

A koa board from salvaged timber that will become a guitar body.

KAMUELA, Hawaii – Kamuela Hardwoods and Parker Ranch announced Nov. 22 that they have entered into an agreement to jointly create a new company aimed at milling, processing and marketing sustainably sourced specialty hardwoods and salvaged timber.

The new venture is an integral component of Parker Ranch's strategic forestry initiatives and will leverage the experience and expertise of Kamuela Hardwoods' team. Parker Ranch Inc. will become the strategic capital investor in the joint venture and the existing owners of Kamuela Hardwoods — Alex Woodbury and Josh Greenspan — will become its operating members, responsible for managing the company's day-to-day business and operations.

Guitar made from a salvaged koa log
Guitar body made from a salvaged koa log.

The new joint venture company, Paniolo Hardwoods, will acquire the assets and business operations of Kamuela Hardwoods and will license its intellectual property. The new company will retain employment of all the employees of Kamuela Hardwoods. Paniolo Hardwoods will complete the transaction prior to the end of 2021.

Parker Ranch is one of the largest and oldest cattle ranches in the United States, and Parker Ranch Inc. is owned by Parker Ranch Foundation Trust whose beneficiaries are four non-profits: Queen's North Hawai`i Community Hospital, Hawai`i Preparatory Academy, Parker School and Hawai`i Community Foundation.

Dutch Kuyper, president and CEO of Parker Ranch Inc., said that the goal is to triple “our forest footprint, which will take time and significant investment. A share of the revenues and profits from this venture will be reinvested into our forestry expansion.

"Our strategic plan is focused on generating value through sustainability, including a broad range of resource-based opportunities such as renewable energy and forestry. We recognize the importance of forests in our ecosystem and in maintaining a healthy environment. This joint venture will support the economic viability of our forest restoration efforts. We believe the Kamuela Hardwoods team will provide tremendous value to our forestry initiatives."

He added that a company objective is to ensure that most of the wood is sold locally to ensure local woodworkers have access to these high value wood species. “Whether it's turning into dimensional lumber, large slabs, bowls, or other artisan products such as musical instruments like ukuleles and guitars, we want to make sure the majority of locally sourced wood remains in Hawai'i rather than exported to the mainland on a wholesale basis."

The new business will mill and market diverse species of hardwoods sourced from Parker Ranch lands and culled from the urban landscape. The joint venture will selectively harvest dead and dying trees, which makes room for new growth, while also making use of wood that would otherwise end up in the landfill to turn into high-quality lumber and slabs.

Alex Woodbury, president of Kamuela Hardwoods, said, "Parker Ranch is a logical strategic investor for us. Kamuela Hardwoods needs access to forest resources and capital to grow over time. A steady availability of both is critical to ensure the sustainability of the enterprise and the reinvestment in the forest. We see this as an extraordinary opportunity to optimize the combination of value creation and sustainability of the resource. We look forward to the future of this strategic partnership with a partner that shares our values and goals."




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About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).