(BIVN) – Three properties in Kaʻū have been identified by the Legacy Land Conservation Commission as priories for protection.
Kaunāmano, Kiolaka‘a, and Manaka‘a – all in Kaʻū – join two other properties (Mapulehu on Molokaʻi, and Maka‘alae Lands on Maui) on the list of top recommendations for the $6.4 million in available Legacy Land funds.
Thirteen properties requiring $15 million were recommended for funding, but the existing budget of $6.4 million will fund five of the top ranked properties, the state says.
The recommendations require approval by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) and the Governor.
The state provided this information about the three properties in Kaʻū:
Kaunāmano (Ala Kahakai Trail Association, with conservation easement held by County of Hawai‘i; full award for Fiscal Year 2020) – “Kaunāmano covers five undeveloped parcels of 1,363 acres between Nāʻālehu and Honu‘apo, fronting four miles of Ka‘ū coastline and reaching up to the 600-foot elevation,” the Hawaiʻi DLNR says. “The entire property is licensed for cattle grazing. This frequently brings people in to help protect sensitive resources and would provide a revenue stream to support future management actions.”
Kiolaka‘a (Ala Kahakai Trail Association, with conservation easement held by County of Hawai‘i; full award for Fiscal Year 2021) – “Beginning at Ka‘alu‘alu Bay, a popular camping spot, three parcels of Kiolaka‘a land cover 1,840 acres, stretching over four miles inland to the 700-foot elevation,” DLNR wrote. “Local ranchers hold license agreements to graze cattle on portions of this property as well as on adjacent lands that are also slated for conservation with funding from the Legacy Land Conservation Program.”
Manaka‘a (Ala Kahakai Trail Association, with conservation easement held by County of Hawai’i; partial award for Fiscal Year 2021) – “The 348-acre property is an undeveloped coastal parcel just south of Nā‘ālehu, where Manāka‘a Fishing Village sits on the cliffs overlooking Waikapuna,” DLNR says. “Local ranchers also hold license agreements to graze cattle on portions of this property, as well as on adjacent lands that are also slated for conservation with funding from the Legacy Land Conservation Program.”
According to the DLNR:
The State Legislature established the Land Conservation Fund in 2005 to provide permanent adequate funding for land conservation by dedicating proceeds from the real estate conveyance tax to the Fund. The grant application and approval process includes consultation with three State agencies (DLNR, Department of Agriculture, and the Agribusiness Development Corporation). The process also requires field visits and public meetings with the Legacy Land Conservation Commission; consultation with the President of the State Senate and the Speaker of the State House of Representatives; environmental review; before final approval by the BLNR, the Department of Budget and Finance and the Governor.
The state says the application process for grants for Fiscal Year 2022 funds is scheduled to begin in January 2020.