Former Reserve Advisory Council member profile

Tim Johns

Tim Johns
2001 – 2017

"How can we not care about protecting this special place? It is our connection to the past and our hope for the future."
– Tim Johns

Q: What drew you to participate in the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council?
A: I had the good fortune to visit Midway Atoll and Tern Island on two separate occasions when I was Chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources and immediately and hopelessly fell in love with the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Q: What are your personal thoughts on the place and why it deserves such dedicated protection?
A: There are so few places left where it is clear that the Hand of God still touches our planet. This is one of those places.

Q: What do you see as the Reserve Advisory Council’s greatest achievement during the time you have been directly involved?
A: Helping to advise and influence at least three sitting U.S. Presidents to do the right thing with regard to marine conservation in the Pacific, and helping to convince the global community of the importance of this place as evidenced by its designation as a World Heritage Site.

Q: As a member of the council, what is one of your most memorable experiences?
A: Sitting in the Hawaii Convention Center large ballroom and watching the faces of so many of our most insightful and visionary kupuna as we celebrated the World Heritage Site designation. That, and watching Sylvia Earle (during the 2016 World Conservation Congress) present a new species of fish from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to President Obama and watching his face when she told him it was named after him.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the council and/or monument today?
A: Continued support from state and federal governments for management and research; continued recognition from the global community about the importance of this special place, and climate change adaptation.

Q: What would you like to say about being a member of the council?
A: One of the most special experiences of my life.

Tim Johns served as State of Hawaii Representative on the Reserve Advisory Council. He has worked in marine and terrestrial conservation on and off for 35 years, including time at the Nature Conservancy, the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Bishop Museum, the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, and as Chair of the Host Committee for the 2016 World Conservation Congress.

Past and present council member profiles