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Molokai Land Trust Open Space Grant Meeting Today

County of Maui Press Release

Molokai Land Trust has applied for $480,000.00 from the County of Maui’s Open Space, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, and Scenic Views Preservation Fund for the acquisition of 196.4 acres on Molokai’s east end at Kawaikapu Ranch. Comment on the acquisition during a rescheduled County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation public meeting on the Molokai Land Trust grant application. The new meeting date will be Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 6 p.m. at the Kilohana Community Center, located at 334-A1 Kamehameha V Highway, Kilohana, Molokai.

The County of Maui’s funds are intended to be used as a match with the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources funding of $767,976.00 from their Legacy Lands Conservation Program for the purchase of this specific property. If approved, the County of Maui will hold a perpetual Conservation Easement on the property.

Kawaikapu Ranch parcel (TMK (2)5-7-005:021) has a perennial stream and intact Ohia forest in its upper reaches. This parcel offers scenic views, watershed for the community below, and is habitat for many native species.

In late 2007, Molokai Land Trust was approached by the Kawaikapu Ranch property owner about purchasing the property because it was becoming environmentally unmanageable. For example, invasive plant species were starting to take hold in several areas and the property was beginning a march to degradation.

At its May 9, 2008 meeting, the Department of Land and Natural Resources approved funding for five project proposals that were submitted to the Legacy Lands Conservation Program in October 2007. These projects were selected through a process which included advice and recommendations from the Legacy Lands Conservation Commission and
consultation with the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. Ke 'Aupuni Lokahi, Inc. (Moloka'i Enterprise Community) and Molokai Land Trust were awarded $796,976 for the acquisition of Kawaikapu.

A copy of the grant application from Molokai Land Trust can be found online by visiting the County of Maui’s website at www.mauicounty.gov/parks and click on “Planning & Development.” The document is also available at the following
locations:

Molokai District Permit Office, Department of Parks and Recreation; 90 Ainoa Street (Mitchell Pauole Center), Kaunakakai, Molokai, HI 96748.

Molokai Public Library, 15 Alamalama Street (P.O. Box 395), Kaunakakai, Molokai, HI  96748

Oral or written comments on the grant application may be submitted at the public meeting; written comments also may be submitted by mail to the Grants Coordinator at 700 Halia Nakoa Street, Unit 2, Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, 96793, on or before August 25, 2009. Any person requesting accommodations due to disabilities must call the Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 270-7949 at least six (6) days before the date of the scheduled public meeting.

Molokai Land Trust mission statement is to protect and restore the land and natural resources of Molokai, and to perpetuate the unique Native Hawaiian traditions and character of the island, for the benefit of the future generations of all Molokai, particularly Native Hawaiians.

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