Send Testimony Against SB 2378

Legacy Lands…Why Restrict Us?

Written by  | Published in Resilient Habitats & Healthy Communities

The Legacy Lands fund — which allows the state to protect and acquire environmental, cultural, and agricultural important lands — is under attack. This posting is courtesy of Lea Hong from Trust for Public Land on SB2378
SB 2378 Relating to Legacy Lands will be heard on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 2:45 p.m. before the Senate Agriculture and Senate Water, Land and Housing Committees.
Please submit testimony in opposition to this bill.  Talking points in opposition to SB 2378:
1.  Bill restricts applicants to the Legacy fund to only four state agencies – BLNR, the Dept. of Agriculture, the Agribusiness Development Corporation, and the Public Land Development Corporation.  Under the current law, state and county agencies and non-profit land conservation organizations may apply.  The four agencies granted exclusive rights to apply for funds can already apply under the existing law.  Under the existing law, applicants must submit applications and compete with other applicants for funding.  Only the best, most prepared/ready-to-go, and significant land projects get funded.  Competition ensures good land conservation.  These four agencies can already compete for funds, and will get funded if they submit good applications.  BLNR has already been successful in applying for funds (e.g., Hamakua Marsh, Honouliuli Forest Reserve, Kainalu Ranch).  There is no reason why the four agencies cannot compete well for funds.
2.  The Legacy Land law currently allows other state agencies, counties and non-profit land conservation organizations to apply for funding.  The bill excludes these entities.  Other state agencies like the Office of the Hawaiian Affairs, which has conserved Wao Kele O Puna, Waimea Valley, and Pahua Heiau, would be excluded from applying.  Counties (which have used Legacy funding to expand Black Pot park in Hanalei on Kaua’i, and purchase coastal land along the Kohala and Ka’u coastlines on Hawai’i island) would also be excluded.  Non-profit land conservation organizations like The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust, the Moloka’i Land Trust, and the North Shore Community Land Trust, would also be excluded.  These non-profit land conservation organizations have used Legacy funding to protect important places such as Lapakahi State Historical Park on the Big Island, important agricultural land on Moloka’i, and are working on dedicating ag land at Turtle Bay and in Windward O’ahu to agriculture in perpetuity with the support of Legacy funds.
3.  By excluding non-profit land conservation organizations, counties, and other State agencies, the bill undermines the public-private partnerships that have made the Legacy Land law a success.  For example, The Trust for Public Land partnered with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife to apply for Legacy funding to purchase Honouliuli Forest Reserve, a watershed with dozens of endangered and threatened species, cultural sites, and important forest watershed that contributes to the Pearl Harbor aquifer.  The Trust for Public Land was able to work with other private investors to purchase a larger acreage from the James Campbell Company (the company refused to sell smaller lots), subdivide out the forest reserve, secure private interim financing to purchase the land on to meet the landowner’s requirements, raise substantial federal funding (over $2 million), and transfer it to the State (with a 400K endowment for management at the HI Community Foundation).  Without the help of private partners like the Trust for Public Land, the transaction could not have occurred.
4.  The bill also proposes to allow Legacy funds to be used for undefined “regulatory functions.”  The existing law already allows up to 5% of the fund to be used for administrative expenses, up to 5% for maintenance, operations and managements of lands acquired with Legacy funds, invasive species control, and re-forestation and sediment control.  Allowing undefined expenditures on “regulatory functions’ would allow more money to be siphoned away from the law’s primary mission — to conserve land.
5.  Senator Pohai Ryan has been working closely with the BLNR and Legacy Land Commission to promulgate rules and refine policies to improve Legacy land processes.  That process should be allowed to continue — if substantial changes are made to the law, the rules would have to be amended and go out (yet again) for public hearing and AG review.

No Tsunami Debris Spotted Yet

Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Bulletin

January 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 9 and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continue to collaborate with Federal and State partners as well as external stakeholders to assess and monitor the movement of the Japan tsunami marine debris.  Because computer models predicted that debris may begin impacting Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge now (January/February 2012), our recent efforts have focused on monitoring strategies in the vicinity of Midway and the other Northwestern Hawaiian Islands including the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument.

  • NOAA, USEPA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) collaborated with the US Coast Guard (USCG) on a routine law enforcement flight over the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). USEPA, NOAA and USFWS each sent observers on the USCG flight in January to concurrently look for any marine debris in the area northwest of Midway Atoll. No debris was sighted by the observers. Again, the models predict that the debris may find its way back around from the West Coast to the Islands in 2014.
  • USEPA is continuing discussions with the US Navy regarding possible assistance with debris sightings in other parts of the NWHIs as well as the main Hawaiian Islands and along the West Coast of the U.S. mainland.
  • USFWS is continuing systematic shoreline monitoring and removal of debris on Sand and Eastern Islands on Midway Atoll as well as Tern Island in French Frigate Shoals.
  • USFWS continues to collect marine debris deposition data from Tern Island in French Frigate Shoals.
  • The State of Hawaii continues shoreline marine debris monitoring on Kure Atoll.
  • NOAA continues working to obtain high-resolution satellite imagery of marine debris in the open ocean in areas where models have predicted Japan tsunami marine debris may be.  Results of the first area of imagery review, roughly north of Kure Atoll, revealed no noticeable marine debris.  NOAA has convened a subject-matter expert group in ocean modeling to refine the area in the North Pacific where the debris front would be expected.  Representatives from various agencies and institutions with potentially applicable models are part of this group.
  • NOAA has developed an assessment and response framework for all regions potentially impacted by Japan tsunami marine debris.  The framework is currently focused on the NWHIs and includes various subject matter expert (SME) groups.  The first workshop to discuss Japan tsunami marine debris across the Hawaiian archipelago was held in Honolulu on January 19 and brought experts together to develop contingency plans.  Representatives from 40 management and response agencies and organizations across Hawaii including USEPA, USFWS and USCG, as well as Hawaii State and county agencies and academia participated in the workshop.
  • USEPA and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) are hosting a California Statewide Japan tsunami marine debris planning meeting on February 14 to share information with State and county agencies on what is known about the Japan tsunami marine debris as it heads toward the West Coast and to assist the agencies with contingency planning.  NOAA, USCG, Department of the Interior (DOI) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are invited to attend as well.

Report sightings of potential Japan tsunami marine debris.  Please send information and photos to:  disasterdebris@noaa.gov
For more information:
The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) can provide information to individuals or groups interested in undertaking shoreline monitoring studies for Japan tsunami marine debris.  Effective monitoring of changes in environmental conditions, such as the abundance of marine debris, requires a good deal of forethought.  For more information or to request a copy of the NOAA MDP Shoreline Survey Field Guide visit http://marinedebris.noaa.gov
EPA Region 9 Marine Debris
http://www.epa.gov/region9/marine-debris/
International Pacific Research Center – Tsunami Debris Models
http://iprc.soest.hawaii.edu/news/marine_and _tsunami_debris_news.php

Annual Meeting – North Shore Park?

Annual Meeting

Feb 4 11am Kaunoa Senior Center in Pa’ia

Potluck, Panel on the Northshore Park.

EVENT DATE: sat feb 4th 11am Kaunoa Center— please forward!!

 Some of Maui’s unsung heros will be honored this Saturday February 4th at the Sierra Club Maui Annual meeting at Kaunoa center in Spreckelsville. UH Maui Biology professor Ann “Frannie” Coppersmith, state biologist Dr. Fern Duvall and environmental advocate Irene Bowie, executive director of Maui Tomorrow Foundation will all receive recognition as 2012 ‘Onipa’a awardees for their longstanding work to educate and advocate for Maui’s natural resources.

Cheryl King, biologist and researcher for Hawaii Wildlife Fund’s Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project will be presented with the Malama Kahakai  award for outstanding marine conservation work and John and Rose Marie Duey, taro farmers who spearhead the outstanding restoration work at the Olowalu Cultural Reserve will receive the Malama o Ka Aina award for their dedication to restoration of cultural practices and native plants.  Community activist and gourmet chef Angie Hoffman will receive the Volunteer of the Year award.

The fun starts at 11 am with awards at 11:30 and followed by a delicious lunch donated by Mana Foods and a lively panel discussion on planning the future of Maui’s North Shore. All are welcome.

Looting of the Seas

Looting the Seas is an award-winning project by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists looking at forces that are rapidly emptying oceans of fish. In its first installment ICIJ documented the massive black market in threatened bluefin tuna.

In the second, it revealed that billions of dollars in subsidies flow into the Spanish fishing industry despite its record of flouting rules and breaking the law.

For the last of the three-part investigation, ICIJ reporters focused on an unlikely protagonist: the bony, bronzed-hued jack mackerel in the southern Pacific. Industrial fleets, after fishing out other waters decimated it at stunning speed. Since so much jack mackerel is reduced to fishmeal for aquaculture and pigs, we eat it unaware with each forkful of farmed salmon.

The plunder continues today as the world’s largest trawlers head south before binding quotas are established. Not long ago, this was one of the world’s richest fishing grounds.

Read the whole report: Looting of the Seas

What’s Up with Sierra Club?

If you are a Sierra Club member, Don’t forget to vote for the Maui & Hawaii Sierra Club Board Members by going to:
http://www.sierraclubhawaii.com/ballot

For the complete Maui Group Newsletter, please go to www.mauisierraclub.org and click on “Newsletters” and for the latest on hikes and activities, please click on “Hikes and Activities.”

UPDATES ON MAUI CONSERVATION ISSUES- July -September 2011

Ma’alaea Harbor Expansion: Work has begin on much needed repairs to the harbor’s docks, roads, electric system and public facilities. A burial was recently disturbed during the excavations, but work appears to be resumed.

North Shore Heritage Park & Hookipa Expansion: Summer waves have severely impacted both Baldwin Beach Park, where the comfort station is now removed due to undercutting. More trees are at risk of loss along the shore. A&B has reportedly sold off over 1000 acres from Maliko Gulch east to Haiku, will the Baldwin Beach park lands be a bargaining chip for a future Upcountry development project? County Council review of the Maui Island Plan is slow. Important decisions re: maps may not be made until November, 2011.

East Maui Streams: Huelo residents who were promised partial restoration of three streams are calling on the water commission to move forward to implement that decision on Hanehoi and Puolua stream. Citizens continue to call for better management of the watersheds below 3000’ elevation where much of 65 billion gallons a year of surface water is collected and diverted to Central Maui. These watershed are being slowly consumed by invasive species.

Maui’s Future Water: A new “grassroots” organization, “Hui o Na Wai” apparently connected with A&B and the visitor industry, is calling for water for Maui’s future, citing an available figure of over 420 mgd of groundwater available. The organization’s brochure does not mention that 2/3’s of that water capacity has no verification at all and is located in remote East Maui and that the County Water Use Plan rated East Maui water sources the most expensive alternative to develop.

Na Wai Eha Stream Restoration:

Final briefs for what promises to be an historic Hawaii Supreme Court case were filed in early September by Earthjustice on behalf of Hui o Na Wai Eha and Maui Tomorrow Foundation. The groups are agreeing with dissenting water commissioner Larry miike and appealing the Commission’s 2010 decision to restore only 14 mgd of water to two Na Wai Eha streams. Left out were Iao and Waikapu streams. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case a few months ago.

Water Use and Development Plan (WUDP): Maui County water department put on a presentation for Council Water Resources Committee members recently. The County is working on 18 -20 viable sources of new water, but warns that rated for both new meters and service will need to be raised if customers expect the department to maintain and improve the system. A final proposal will go to the County in November for budget consideration.

Hamakuapoko Wells: Council Water Resources chair Victorino introduced a bill to override the Council’s previous decision banning human use of the 2 wells. The Arakawa administration in the past, has expressed a desire to swap the well output for more EMI stream water. The wells pump from an aquifer and is considered limited in fresh water output, besides having ag chemicals DBCP, EDB, TCP, Atrazine and others at levels exceeding state standards. Decisions are being made as we go to press. Updates: maui-tomorrow.org.

Sustainable Ag: School and community garden programs are expanding on Maui. UH-Maui College is launching a large garden by early 2012. Hana has a 10 acre garden/farm up and running and more communities are getting involved every day.

Renewable Energy

Maui Group was pleased to see the footprint of the proposed Auwahi windfarm on Ulupalakua ranch lands: reduced by half, while output remained virtually the same. This spares impacts on many cultural sites and native plant habitat areas. MG offered comments on the windfarm’s Habitat Conservation Plan for endangered species on the site, that were generally very positive.

MG did comment on the need to protect an important boundary wall in the Makena Resort area, where the windfarm transport road travels. MG also suggested that where ever possible, following construction, the temporary affected area will be restored and planted with native vegetation and asked that water from any onsite well in the windfarm site be made available to the HHL community in Kahikinui, if they agreed.

Maui County has issued contracts to private sector partners to provide renewable energy installations at numerous county facilities. Negotiations with the local utility (MECO) are ongoing to boost the amount of clean power that can be accepted in the grid from these installations.

HECO has pledged to have alternative energy make up 40 percent of its electricity production by 2030, however, it continues to see palm oil as part of the mix. HECO, has imported 1.6 million gallons of palm oil to conduct a ‘test phase’ – in two O’ahu generators. Palm oil plantations have been linked to deforestation and land-grabbing in Southeast Asia and West Africa, and more climate change. For updates: http://www.rainforest- rescue.org

Ma’alaea Mauka Development: Judge Loo upheld a challenge by Ma’alaea Community Association and Maui Tomorrow to the EIS for the proposed 1000 unit development across from the Maui aquarium. The project developers had asked the Judge to reverse the earlier decision. Developers have told community members that they now intend to use the land for large ag lots, rather than issue a Supplemental EIS addressing the project’s fresh water source and sewage treatment.

Haleakala Solar Telescope (ATST): The Board of Land and Natural Resources held an August hearing on Kilakila o Haleakala’ appeal of BLNR acceptance of project’s Conservation Use Permit. The 14 story high projects promises good high tech jobs, but has not found a way to address concerns of many noted hawaiian cultural practitioners who feel more industrial scale installations on a sacred site is disrespectful. For updates <http://kilakila.org

Regulation of Aquarium Fish: Efforts continue to pass statewide regulations to stop the senseless plunder of our native fish. For updates: savehawaiianreefs.org

Wastewater Injection Wells: Maui Group, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Surfrider foundation and West maui preservation Association represented by Earth Justice, sent the EPA a notice of intent to file suit regarding Clean Water Act violations at the Lahaina Wastewater Treatment Plant. EPA, County and the plaintiffs are in discussions over the County’s efforts to obtain a federal discharge permit (NPDES) for the facility that will set levels to reduce discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus and help keep reefs healthy.

REdirect) coalition to support funding for county upgrades for sewage treatment and delivery systems to stop wasting treated water. Council Member Cochran recently was able to keep funds in the County budget for upgrades in Lahaina and Kahaului facilities that will allow more reuse. Cochran has also introduced bills to the Council’s Infrastructure committee, which she chairs, to support a transition to greater re-use of this valuable resource.

A&B’s Waiale Development: MG offered extensive comments on the Waiale DEIS, which was missing essential information on a reliable water source; sewage treatment; monitoring for hazardous waste areas on, and surrounding the site; and presence of traditional burials in sand dune areas slated for future high density development. The 2500-3000 units on 545 acres that includes an ancient burial grounds and historic battleground, needs another site plan. The Draft Maui Island Plan proposes a large open space to protect dunes, burials and cultural sites. The A&B plan protects nearly 100 already disturbed burials on site, but leaves other likely burial areas at high risk of destruction in the proposed urban development area. MG supports the MIP plan version.

Honolua Bay Development: Efforts continue to place a protective easement on, or purchase Lipoa Point, Honolua shoreline and surrounding watershed areas. Cleanups, plantings, reef monitoring and educational events are ongoing at this popular Bay. For updates, go to: http:// www.savehonolua.org/ or contact Les Potts: lespotts@msn.com

Wailea 670: Now more than ever, we need protection for the nearly 2,500 native wiliwili trees and the rare and beautiful awikiwiki plant (recently named a candidate for endangered species listing) found on these rugged lava lands above Wailea golf course. Awikiwiki on nearby public lands have been decimated by feral goats. USFWS and State wildlife biologists support a minimum 130 acre preserve at wailea 670. Currently, the Honua’ula developer is proposing 40 acres on site and other areas offsite. What does this unique section of Maui’s most endangered native ecosystem deserve? For updates and photos and petition: go to SaveMakena.org

Makena Resort Rezoning: New Makena investors have been quiet. Another stakeholders meeting was expected by this summer, but, a date has not been announced. Will new owners ask the county council to modify unilateral conditions of rezoning citing expense of requirements to provide infrastructure, marine monitoring and park planning? MG will continue to monitor plans for this environmentally and culturally important area surrounding our state park at Makena.

 

North Shore Beach Cleanup Sunday Oct 16

North Shore Town Clean-Up!
Surfrider Foundation
in partnership with
Maui Sierra Club, Maui Tomorrow, Positive H2o & Community Work Day

present the

Annual Town Clean-Up at Baldwin Beach Park
Sunday, October 16 • 9 am -1 pm
Check in by Paia Bay Park 8 am

Come malama ka aina at Baldwin Beach, Paia Bay and other north shore locations.

Last year’s clean up event brought together over 1,200 volunteers that collected 30,000 pounds of litter and marine debris, 1,800 plastic bags, 2,150 recyclable beverage containers, and 7,600 cigarette butts in Maui Nui alone. Come help be one of those volunteers to give back to our Maui’s shorelines and home towns. Join volunteers from Surfrider Foundation, Positive H20, Sierra Club Maui, Maui Tomorrow, Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund and Community Work Day.
Contact: Community Work Day Program
Phone: (808) 877-2524
or Luciene de Naie Laluz@maui.net
for cleanup questions.
To get involved with Surfrider, email the Maui Chapter at: maui@surfrider.org
All supplies provided by Community Work day, Surfrider Foundation and Positive H2O.

EPA Agreement Finalized For Full Disinfection of Lahaina Wastewater Facility

After much foot-dragging, nay-saying and denial, Maui County finally agreed to clean up Lahaina wastewater going into injection wells after being threatened by a Maui Group Sierra Club lawsuit.

Read about it at Maui Now