Mo`omomi Amendment to go to Homes Commission

DHHL planners present final conservation plans

After a year and a half of back and forth, the proposed protections for Mo`omomi-Anahaki are ready to be sent to the Hawaiian Homes Commission for a vote next month.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) planners presented a final draft of the land use amendment to recognize the area as a Special District at a beneficiary meeting last Wednesday.

The amendment would establish protective measures for resources, including 15-foot buffer zones around cultural sites and the creation of a management plan to protect endangered plants and animals.

The amendment would also require maintenance of access roads and promote educational programs. Future agriculture and pastoral leases within Mo`omomi-Anahaki could still be awarded.

Despite the plans, Mac Poepoe, a longtime resource manager on Mo`omomi, reminded the community of its responsibility to the land.

“We cannot just talk about all this good stuff and forget there are things down there we have to take care of,” he said.

DHHL staff said they expect the Homes Commission to vote on the amendment at its Dec. 14 meeting in Oahu.

Molokai’s Commissioner Henry Tancayo, who was at last week’s meetings, said he is “confident it will go through.”

The land use amendment came out of talks between DHHL, homesteaders and wind energy company First Wind, which had hoped to build a wind farm on DHHL-owned land.

Many in the community objected to the plan, which fell through in May after the Federal Aviation Administration told the company the land’s proximity to the airport in Ho`olehua raised safety concerns, according to First Wind.

“Over the past year and a half working with the planning department, Mo`omomi has come up as being a special topic and a very special place to residents,” DHHL Planner Kaleo Manuel said.

Malama Park Acquired by DHHL
Darrell Yagodich, administer of the planning department, also announced upcoming DHHL plans for Molokai. The agency is in the process of acquiring two pieces of land – a 42-acre lot across from the airport in Ho`olehua and the 6-acre Malama Park in Kaunakakai, which will be used for commercial activity.

Profits generated from that land will go to the island’s homestead associations.

“The commission wants them to be self-sustaining financially,” Yagodich said, adding the Molokai Canoe Club’s current license on the property will not be affected.

Yagodich also said DHHL is working to lift the current statewide moratoriums on dividing existing agriculture lots and granting new agriculture lots.

The planning department will introduce an amendment to the Homes Commission next year.

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