Preserve state lands for environmental and recreational use

Act 90 was adopted by the State of Hawai‘i in 2003, specifying that agricultural land that is state-owned should be managed by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) rather than the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DNLR). The DLNR has provided short-term and long-term leases to farmers and ranchers on suitable land for a very long time. In addition, some lands have been transferred to the DOA as per Act 90.

The past year a working group has evaluated progress in transferring land to the DOA and published a draft report which will be finalized and submitted as proposals for legislation in December. Key findings are that lands used primarily and exclusively for agriculture should be transferred to the DOA while lands which have multiple uses, such as for conservation, public recreation, and other public purposes in accordance with DLNR’s mission, should remain under DLNR’s management.

Your testimony in support of keeping multiple use lands with the DLNR will help preserve public lands for fighting climate change, securing the watersheds, restoring native habitats and providing educational and recreational opportunities for our residents. You can send email to working group co-chairs Senator Lorraine Inouye and Representative David Tarnas.

A good overview of what is involved and the DLNR’s recommendations can be found at this interactive site (best viewed with Chrome):
https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/91e49b26f9f24ac2a9f1c1f59bd9aa9d

However, there is a big push now to transfer large swaths of past grazing land that link the mauka conservation areas with the shoreline to the DOA, something that really should be scrutinized. Here are three of the many such parcels that the DLNR has identified as very valuable for restoring and maintaining native vegetation, wildlife migration paths and future public recreational use. GL is general lease, RP is revocable lease.

Waikamoi

• Connectivity of the Koolau Forest Reserve and Waikamoi and Kolea streams to ocean
• High value stream flora and fauna
• High quality coastal vegetation
• Native seabird nesting areas
• Recovery habitat for endangered
plants
• Public access to scenic shoreline and streams, including hiking, hunting, and recreation
• Very high strategic value as it lies at the heart of the Division’s efforts to acquire a contiguous set of coastal
parcels, including 12 perennial streams, from Hanehoi to Puohokamoa to be placed into the public trust for forestry and wildlife conservation.

Kahakuloa

• RP 7571 is in Conservation District
• High quality coastal vegetation
• Native seabird nesting areas
• Federally designated critical habitat for endangered plants
• Threatened by feral ungulates that kill native plants and cause erosion that fouls marine waters
• Very high resource value as a component of contiguous set of coastal parcels from Kahakuloa to Waihee, including connectivity of Makamakaole and Kahakuloa streams to the ocean to be placed into the public trust for forestry and wildlife conservation.

Kailua

• Connectivity of Kailua and Nailiilihaele Streams to the ocean
• High value stream flora and fauna
• High quality coastal vegetation
• Native seabird nesting areas
• Recovery habitat for endangered plants
• Public access to scenic shoreline, waterfalls, and streams, including hiking, hunting, and recreation
• Very high strategic value as a component of acquisition of contiguous set of coastal parcels, including 12 perennial streams, from Hanehoi to Haipuaena to be placed into the public trust for forestry and wildlife conservation.

 

A walk down the South Maui Shoreline

Rob Weltman and Ann Wallace walked the developed South Maui coast from North Kihei at the Maui Canoe Club to the square parking lot at Kanehena, both to enjoy the views and to see where coastal access is blocked. It is about 20 miles of white sandy beaches interspersed with scenic lava flows creating a series of small coves and long beaches.

Much of the South Maui coast is public access: state or county land. There are some spots that are impassable along the shoreline and a detour is required on a nearby road. Each section is full of interesting features and adventures.

Here are maps of the route, and photos taken along the way. Blocked access is indicated as orange lines.

Note: some sections described here may be less accessible at times due to tide or weather conditions.

All photos courtesy of Ann Wallace.

Community Meetings on Affordable Housing Plan

We need much more affordable housing, but building in the Pu‘uone of Wai‘ale on iwi kupuna is NOT a good plan for affordable housing. It would be important for this county plan to include that information and that conclusion. Please attend, learn and speak at a meeting near you:

Press Release - HCA, Akaku Announce Series of Community Meetings to Inform Maui's Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan