Nhsc-v1-386

From GrassrootWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

nhsc-v1-386

Text Only

for State lands of equivalent value. Approximately 11,927 acres of the Home lands were lands withdrawn under GEO's. According to testimony of the (then) Chairman of the Commission, action by DLNR in responding to the exchange proposals was taking time because of other priority workload considerations. And, according to the current Chairman, this exchange proposal has been withdrawn by DHHL because it does not have a complete and comprehensive land inventory and the Commission did not want to give up land that they knew nothing about. Home lands in the Puukapu area on the island of Hawaii were withdrawn under GEO's in 1955 and 1958 for development of reservoirs as part of the Lalamilo Irrigation System operated by the State. Although the reservoirs are on Home lands, native Hawaiian homesteaders received no benefits, until 1982, and DHHL received no compensation for use of these lands for the irrigation project even though the State receives revenue from delivery of the irrigation water.

The irrigation system was designed to serve the Lalamilo farm lots area consisting of 670 acres. According to the DHHL Homestead Project Manager, the Lalamilo farm area is a State of Hawaii project on State lands and the farms are leased to individuals who are not necessarily native Hawaiians. The irrigation system includes the two reservoirs situated on Home lands; the 60-million-gallon Waimea Reservoir situated on 22.7 acres under GEO 1707 issued December 1, 1955; and a 135-million-gallon lake (Puu Pulehu Reservoir) originally under GEO 1869, November 28, 1958, which was canceled on July 11, 1980. We were told that the lake receives the overflow water from the Waimea Reservoir and, at the time of our review, there was no water delivery system from the lake to any farms. A transmission pipe delivers water to the Lalamilo farms from the Waimea Reservoir and runs through Home lands under an easement covered by GEO 1707.

Until recently, homestead farms in the Puukapu area were served only by domestic water which costs more than irrigation water. According to a March 1982 study prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture, the monthly water bill for an average size truck farm using domestic water would be about $230, compared to $60 if agricultural water was used. We were told that the homesteaders were given an opportunity to be connected to the irrigation system at the time the system was put into operation. We were unable, however, to satisfy ourselve- as to the reasons why the homesteaders were not connected to the system at that time.

We conclude that, unless the Commission and the State of Hawaii assign a high priority and provide the staff and resources necessary for resolving the withdrawn lands issue, it will take many years before DHHL receives compensation or lands in exchange for Home lands that have been withdrawn for public use.

Land Exchanges

There have been seven exchanges of land under the provisions of Section 204 of the Act which have been submitted to and approved by the (then) Secretary of the Interior or an authorized agent. The Act allows exchanges of land for other publicly or privately-owned lands of equal value in order to consolidate Home land holdings or to better serve the purposes of the Act. The seven approved exchanges involved 3,021 acres of Home lands for 6,924 acres of other public or private lands. The last such exchange was approved by the Secretary of the Interior on

-p386-

Previous Page Next Page