Nhsc-v1-377

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nhsc-v1-377

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b. The Attorney General (State of Hawaii) has ruled that certain DHHL lands were illegally set aside by Governor's Executive Orders. A State Court confirmed this. Progress on resolving this situation, either by exchange of lands or by receiving compensation, is moving very slowly. Except in two cases, there does not appear to be a concerted effort to resolve this problem. Although the listing of lands set aside under Governor's Executive orders was not complete, DHHL had identified approximately 13,600 acres set aside under such orders. The lands are being used by Federal, State, and county agencies for purposes such as public airports, defense installations, schools, parks, or forest and game reserves. DHHL has been working on two cases of land withdrawals involving an airport in Hilo and a flood control project. The airport case has resulted in a general lease providing for a one-time payment of $401,185 for past use and an annual rental of $481,422. The other case will apparently be resolved with a land exchange.
c. There have been seven land exchanges under provisions of the Act, all of which were approved by the (then) Secretary of the Interior. Two of the exchanges, involving 194 acres, were on an acre-for-acre basis, but we were unable to find any appraisals to support that the exchanges were on the basis of equal value as required by the Act. A third exchange of 268 acres of Home lands for about 5,078 acres of State lands was based on tax assessment values of differing periods. The Home lands were valued primarily on 1962 assessments while State lands were valued on 1966 assessments. In addition, available records did not show whether retention of mineral rights by the State was considered in establishing "equal" values.

2. The objective of enabling native Hawaiians to recapture possession and control of the land has not progressed rapidly during the 60 years of the Act's existence. Only 20 percent of the lands made available by the Act are now in the possession of or used by native Hawaiians. There are over 7,000 native Hawaiian applicants on the homestead eligibility lists and some of the applicants have been on the lists for as long as 30 years. The State of Hawaii has provided over $42 million in funds during the past 5 years in addition to the funds generated by the Commission mainly from leases and interests on lease proceeds. Prior to 1973, the amount of funds provided by the State or Territory from outside of the Commission was insignificant.

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