The Legacy Land Conservation Program (LLCP) will convey approximately $3,267,380 million from the State Land Conservation Fund for land acquisition projects to protect Hawaii’s unique and valuable resources.
Seven state, county, and nonprofit applicants will receive grant funds for the permanent protection of lands having cultural, archeological, and natural resource values. Four of the projects are on the Big Island.
“Participating as a funder in these conservation partnerships is an efficient way to protect important natural, cultural, and agricultural resources,” said Laura H. Thielen, Board of Land and Natural Resources chairwoman. “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 Hawaii residents in the form of scenic open space, watershed protection, agricultural production, and preserved natural and cultural resources.
The Legacy Land Conservation Commission, a nine-member commission composed of cultural, agricultural and natural resource experts and representatives from each county, advised the Board of Land and Natural Resources on this year’s project selections. Gov. Linda Lingle released funding for the Commission’s recommended projects in early June.
“Each of the recommended projects protects an important resource,” said Commission Chair Dale Bonar. “Clean drinking water, our natural and cultural heritage, our agricultural lands – these are the resources that Hawaii needs to maintain a connection to its past and build a sustainable future.”
The following are summaries of the approved projects:
* County of Hawaii and the Trust for Public Land, $945,000 for the acquisition of 10.61 acres on the island of Hawaii, coastline lot within Paoo ahupuaa, North Kohala District, to protect over 27 cultural sites from development and maintain the natural landscape and scenic views of the Kohala coastline.
* Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry & Wildlife, $500,000 for the acquisition of a conservation easement over 614 acres on the island of Molokai, East Molokai, Kainalu; mauka of Kamehameha. V Highway, to protect critical watershed and prevent erosion damage to near-shore coral reef ecosystems and historic Hawaiian fishponds.
* Kauai Public Land Trust and the County of Kauai, $800,000 for the acquisition of 0.74 acre on the island of Kauai, on Hanalei Bay directly next to the Hanalei Pier, to be held by the County of Kauai, 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 Hawaii, 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 Oahu Land Trust, $500,000 for the acquisition of a conservation easement over 107.73 acres on the island of Oahu, ahupua‘a of Kaalaea, in the Koolaupoko District, to be held by the Oahu Land Trust, to protect agricultural production and maintain a portion of the rural character of windward Oahu.
* 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 Hawaii, Puna District; 10 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 Hawaii, Puna District; in Hawaiian Orchid Island Estates adjacent to Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve, to preserve an intact native ohia 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.
For more information on the Legacy Land Conservation Program, call (808) 586-0921 or visit hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw/llcp