An Inspired Plan – Hawaii Business Magazine – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-06-16 08:43:49 –

The last part of a series of stories about resilience during a pandemic
Photo: Courtesy of Kupu

The pandemic has crippled thousands of Hawaiian small businesses and forced tens of thousands of people to find new jobs. Among these personal tragedy are stories of grit, patience, and transformation. This is one of those stories.

Peter Thoene loved his work as a guide to the Hawaii Forest & Trail on the Big Island of Hawaii and later managed the company’s expansion to Oahu.

During his first eight weeks of training in 2015, “I learned everything about all the legends and stories, and about native plants, history and geology, and filled all the gaps in my knowledge.” He says.

However, in March 2020, the pandemic ended all tours. Toene flew to the Big Island of Hawaii, returned with her parents, and wondered what to do next.

“I wanted to go to nature maintenance,” he says. “I liked teaching people, but I wanted to have some influence in this situation, and that was when I applied for Kupu.”

Toene was assigned to the Oahu Forest Bird Recovery Program through the State Forest and Wildlife Service and worked with Rainy Berry, the State Forest Bird Recovery Coordinator. Again, he loved the job, but it ended in December 2020. The state’s job freeze prevented him from continuing to work.

He applied for another conservation job, but nothing was available.

“I thought I was going this way, but it was a wash, so I decided I was going to make it myself,” he says.

“One day I’m aiming to build a trail that crosses the Big Island from north to south. In New Zealand, there are nine hikes called the Great Walk, which goes through nine of New Zealand’s most beautiful areas.” Called “through a hike,” there is a cabin along the way, and people flock to it. … In 2019, they earned NZ $ 8 million on these trails. But there is no such thing in Hawaii. “

That’s what Toene wants to change.

“If you can hike from north to south, you will have all these different climatic zones and different habitats and you will see all these different species. The type of people we want to be here, want to experience the transformation with nature. I think it will attract people.

“Until I started working with Linny and Kupu, I didn’t know there were a lot of devoted people who care about Hawaii’s natural future as much as I do. And it was exciting. I Can stay here in Hawaii and be one of those people. ”

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