SOUTH KONA, Hawaii – A South Kona coffee farm has made the priority list for conservation.
The Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Commission (PONC) recently published their 2013 Report to the Mayor on the internet, and number 12 on the list of 15 is a possible conservation easement on Honolulu Coffee Farm land.
The list of 15 properties join lands listed on prior years and are targeted for purchase using public funds (2% of the county’s real property tax collections.)
The HCC Farms, LLC land would be a conservation easement, which means the money would used to ensure the land would forever remain in agriculture, without subdivision. To date, no conservation easements have been purchased using PONC funds.
According to the minutes of the July 8 PONC meeting, Janet Britt of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust submitted the project for consideration. Britt said the farm is located in the South Kona district, and is already surrounded by the 11,000-acre Kealakekua Ranch conservation easement. The land was appraised for $1,230,000 and there is already a commitment by the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program to cover $922,500. The owners are ready to donate another 25% of the cost.
According to the PONC report, the parcel is significant because of soil and water conservation and i’o habitat (Hawaiian Hawk).