Nhsc-v1-405

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nhsc-v1-405

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because of a substantial infusion of State funds. DHHL's ability to continue in this positive direction has been reduced by the 1978 State Constitution limit on State spending, impact of current economic conditions on State and DHHL revenues, and inflation. The omission of the federal government's role in providing funds to DHHL is a serious concern. As far as can be determined, federal funds have never been allocated to the DHHL in the 60 year history of the HHCA.

Draft Report Findings Misleading

Draft report findings leave the impression that the problems can be resolved simply. Recommendations in the draft report are so general as to be meaningless and not useful in terms of taking corrective action. The exact scope of work required and costs are not outlined. Many of the detailed comments that follow are intended to clarify the complex and difficult nature of these problems and needs.

The draft report in its present form is deficient and incomplete, does not fulfill its stated purpose, and will not result in the fundamental and far-reaching improvements needed. The federal government must acknowledge its proper role with respect to the HHCA and DHHL.

Detailed Comments

Land Status

1. Land Inventory

Finding: The draft report cites the lack of descriptions of "available lands" as a problem including the lack of a complete and accurate land inventory (page 13).

Comment: The land inventory problem is complex, due in part to Congressional withdrawals, land exchanges, Executive Orders, and vague descriptions in the HHCA. All of these problems were noted in the report (pp. 15-29).

Original maps used by USDI in designating "available lands" in the 1920's would be a useful reference point for development of a complete and accurate inventory. The draft report does not contain specific recommendations for USDI to pursue in this effort.

Without adequate original reference maps, background research required prior to actual surveying is exhaustive and costly. Presently, this research involves examining each parcel in terms of HHCA provisions, the ahupua'a (land division extending from mountains to the sea) within which it exists, deducting sugar and forest lands, etc., in accordance with Section 203 of the HHCA. Reliance on the validity of existing documents has been necessary. This process is lengthy and can lead to inaccuracies.

Differences in acreages among various DHHL sources are, in part, accounted for in that these sources each reflect the most recent information available. There are differences due to poor descriptions in the HHCA. As lands are developed, more accurate descriptions are produced, generally on a case by case basis. As parcels are brought into use, surveyed, and developed, reports are improved and updated. Given existing staff and resources, DHHL has used this method of addressing the 60-year old problem concerning lack of an adequate land inventory.

Approximately 40% of the DHHL lands have not been surveyed. These lands generally have not been those best suited for homestead or leasing purposes. It is difficult to justify the high survey expense when specific uses for these lands are not yet identified.

-p405-

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