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2. Land Withdrawals
Finding: There needs to be an aggressive and accelerated approach to resolve the issue of home lands which have been withdrawn for public use (page 22).
Comment: A total review will be required to determine policy and procedures. The matter of airports on DHHL lands is in the process of being resolved. It is clear that airport use is not in keeping with the purposes of the HHCA.
The question of schools and parks is not so easily answered in that these uses are part of an overall community in which homesteaders reside. Another policy or approach may be required. One possible impact is that other agencies will refuse to maintain parks or school properties without clear authority to occupy the land. This raises several questions which must be given serious consideration including the soundness of a policy to move into the area of maintenance of facilities which may or may not directly benefit homesteaders. With limited resources and manpower, focusing on direct services to beneficiaries is more prudent. DHHL does not have the resources or manpower to maintain these facilities.
Other land uses such as game reserves, forests, and conservation areas may require yet another policy or approach. The extent and type of uses of these areas by native Hawaiians are not documented. It is clear that the issue of maintenance and management of these lands by other agencies may result in additional costs to DHHL. DHHL lacks sufficient resources and manpower to adequately carry out these responsibilities or functions.
It should be noted that of the 13,601 acres in Governor's Executive Orders, one of these game reserve lands encompasses 81.8 percent of the total.
Prior to proceeding with any land exchange, a clear understanding of DHHL land values must: be determined in terms of resources present on the land and potentials for future land development. Land exchanges are based on a value for value exchange. It is imperative that DHHL have thorough knowledge of its own lands as well as lands which are being sought from other parties. Technical studies will be undertaken within the next two years to provide such information.
Resolution of Governor's Executive Orders is not unilateral on the part of the DHHL. If funds are involved for compensation, legislative appropriations may be required. If land exchanges are considered as a method of compensation, the Department of Land and Natural Resources and sometimes a third party are necessary to consummate an exchange.
This negotiation process requires agreement on appraisal methods, land values, and money. Resolution may involve arbitration or litigation.
Of course, USDI approval of the land exchanges will he required.
3. Past Land Exchanges
Finding: The propriety of three of the seven exchanges is questionable as the provisions of the Act (HHCA) apparently are not compiled with (page 28).
Comment: Note that USDI approved each land exchange. USDI and DHHL share responsibility in this area and must work together to resolve this matter. The draft report raised questions, but does not recommend corrective action.
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