NA’ALEHU, Hawaii – The Grassman Macadamia Nut Farm has been listed as priority number 14 on the 2013 Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Commission (PONC) Report to the Mayor.
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.)
Like number 12 HCC Farms, the Macadamia Nut Farm 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 west of Na’alehu, and the easement was appraised for $400,000. The PONC report says half the cost will ve covered by the Farm & Ranch Lands Protection Program, and another 25% will be donated by the landowner.
The PONC report says the easement – which is adjacent t0 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Ka’u Forest Reserve lands – is significant for soil and water conservation, is part of the Ka Lae Aquifer System, and is would be congruent with the goals of the (yet unfinished) Ka’u Community Development Plan.