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Also, we limited our review of commercial leasing of land to recent activities.
Further, as pointed out by the Governor of the State of Hawaii in his reply to a draft of this report, we did not address issues related to the specific responsibilities of the Department of Interior, its execution thereof or the policy matters that are interrelated to such responsibilities.
The Act was enacted to enable native Hawaiians (descendants of not less than one-half part blood of races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778) to recapture possession and control of the public lands of the Territory of Hawaii as homesteads. The Act was designed to fulfill four principal objectives:
- 1) the Hawaiian must be placed on the land in order to insure his rehabilitation;
- 2) the alienation of such land, now and in the future, be made impossible;
- 3) accessible water in adequate amounts must be provided for all tracts; and
- 4) the Hawaiian must be financially aided until his farming operations are well under way.
The Act set aside approximately 200,000 acres of public lands as available lands for administration by the Hawaiian Homes Commission (Commission) for homestead purposes. The available lands were described in the Act as excluding: "(a) all lands within any forest reservation, (b) all cultivated sugar-cane lands, and (c) all public lands held under a certificate of occupation, homestead lease, right of purchase lease, or special homestead agreement." The descriptions of acreage were vague, such as, "(1) un the island of Hawaii: Kamao-Puueo (eleven thousand acres, more or less), in the district of Kau; Puukapu (twelve thousand acres, more or less), Kawaihae I (ten thousand acres, more or less),...in the district of South Kohala;..."
The Act originally was intended for rural homesteading, where native Hawaiians become subsistent or commercial farmers or ranchers. However, in 1923 the United States Congress amended the Act to permit residential lots. Ever since, the demand of native Hawaiians for residential lots has far exceeded the demand for agricultural or pastural lots.
In 1959, the Hawaii Admission Act provided that ownership of the Hawaiian Home lands (Home lands) be transferred from the United States to the State of Hawaii. The Admission Act also provided that the Home lands, as well as proceeds and income therefrom were to be held by the State in trust for native Hawaiians and administered in accordance with the Act, and that use of the Home lands for any other purpose would constitute a breach of trust for which suit may be brought by the United States. The Act, as amended, was adopted as a provision of the constitution of the State of Hawaii, and the DHHL was established to administer the Home lands under the Commission.
According to the DHHL annual report, approximately 190,000 acres were being managed by DHHL as of June 30, 1981, and were used as shown in Table 65. (All tables are at the end of the chapter.)
DHHL activities involved in the management of the Home lands include: establishment or tanning and ranching programs; roaci maintenance; operation
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