614 acres on Molokai selected for legacy land funds
Seven projects have been approved for legacy land conservation funding in Hawaii. The program will convey an estimated $3.26 million from the state conservation land fund for land acquisition to protect Hawaii’s unique valuable resources. Included on the list is a half a million dollars for the acquisition of 614 acres of land in East Molokai mauka of the Kamehameha V Highway in Kainalu. This is to protect critical watershed land, prevent erosion damage to near-shore coral reef ecosystems, and protect historic Hawaiian fishponds. The funds for the Molokai acquisition will go to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry & Wildlife.
“Participating as a funder in these conservation partnerships is an efficient way to protect important natural, cultural, and agricultural resources,” stated Laura H. Thielen, Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson. “By providing these grants as incentive, the State is utilizing mostly private and federal funds to protect these resources.”
Every State dollar spent will be matched with approximately $3 in federal, county and private funds, for a total of $9,478,312 in matching funds that will be used to acquire approximately 752 acres of threatened or unique natural, cultural, recreational, and agricultural resources. The funds will be used to protect lands and will provide benefits to Hawai‘i residents in the form of scenic open space, watershed protection, agricultural production, and preserved natural and cultural resources.
“Each of the recommended projects protects an important resource,” stated Commission Chair Dale Bonar. “Clean drinking water, our natural and cultural heritage, our agricultural lands – these are the resources that Hawai‘i needs to maintain a connection to its past and build a sustainable future,” said Bonar.
Additional projects approved for funding include the following:
- County of Hawai‘i and the Trust for Public Land, $945,000 for the acquisition of 10.61 acres on the island of Hawai‘i, coastline lot within Pao‘o ‘ahupua‘a, North Kohala District, to protect over 27 cultural sites from development and maintain the natural landscape and scenic views of the Kohala coastline.
- Kaua‘i Public Land Trust and the County of Kaua‘i, $800,000 for the acquisition of 0.74 acre on the island of Kaua‘i, on Hanalei Bay directly next to the Hanalei Pier, to be held by the County of Kaua‘i, to enhance and protect the heavily used Black Pot Beach Park area for Hawaii’s residents and visitors.
- Kona Historical Society, $255,592 for the acquisition of 2.11 acres on the island of Hawai‘i, South Kona, makai of Mamaloahoa Highway, to provide a scenic buffer for the historic H.N. Greenwell Store and additional space for preservation of the farming and ranching heritage of Kona.
- The Trust for Public Land and O‘ahu Land Trust, $500,000 for the acquisition of a conservation easement over 107.73 acres on the island of O‘ahu, ahupua‘a of Ka‘alaea, in the Ko‘olaupoko District, to be held by the O‘ahu Land Trust, to protect agricultural production and maintain a portion of the rural character of windward O‘ahu.
- Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-Violent Education and Action and the Hawaii Island Land Trust (HILT), $231,788 for the acquisition of 11.14 acres on the island of Hawai‘i, Puna District; ten miles south of Hilo, makai side of Highway 11, with a conservation easement to be held by HILT, to maintain agricultural production on lands with kipuka deep soil and abundant rainfall.
- HILT, $35,000 for the acquisition of conservation easements over 6 acres on the island of Hawai‘i, Puna District; in Hawaiian Orchid Island Estates adjacent to Kahauale‘a Natural Area Reserve, to preserve an intact native ‘ohi‘a forest canopy that allows native birds, insects and plants to travel and propagate.
LLCP projects are subject to a consultation process with the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the approval of the Governor. Grant funding for projects that protect lands having value as a resource to the State is awarded through the Legacy Land Conservation Program on an annual basis, subject to the availability of funds.