To: Governor of State of Hawai'i & Director of Lands and Natural Resources
Do Not Extend $1 Lease on 23,000 acres of Hawai'i State Lands in Military Pōhakuloa Training Area
We call on the Governor of the State of Hawai'i and the Chair and Board of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to terminate the lease of 23,000 acres of Hawai'i public trust land at Pōhakuloa Training Area to the U.S. Army. This land was leased for $1 to the Army in 1964 for a term of 65-years. In violation of the terms of the lease, the Army has damaged native ecosystems, left unexploded ordnance, depleted uranium, and other contaminants, and harmed Native Hawaiian cultural sites. Although the lease expires in 2029, the U.S. military is seeking to renew the lease as quickly as possible.
Why is this important?
The U.S. military wants to extend the lease on the State of Hawai'i property as it provides access to the 110,000 acres of adjacent U.S. government-owned land at the largest U.S. military firing range. The Army calls the 132,000-acre range on Hawaii island the “Pacific’s premier training area.”
Pōhakuloa Training Area (PTA), with a 51,000-acre “impact area,” is used heavily by Hawaii-based and visiting international military forces. It is the largest live-fire range in Hawaii and supports full-scale combined arms field training from the squad to brigade (approximately 3,500 soldiers) level.
The Army set a 40-day public "scoping" period for the Environment Impact Statement (EIS). Written comments should be submitted via the EIS website at 808ne.ws/357ek2V.
Hawaiian cultural practitioners Clarence Ku Ching and Mary Maxine Kahaulelio filed suit against the Hawai'i State Department of Land and Natural Resources in 2014 claiming the state breached its trust duties by failing to enforce the lease.
Four years later, State Circuit judge Gary Chang ruled in 2018 in Ching and Kahaulelio’s lawsuit (Ching v. Case) that the DLNR failed to care for the Big Island property, lacking inspections over the first nearly 50 years of the lease. Judge Chang said that the state has a duty to "mālama ʻāina" and called two DLNR inspection reports “grossly inadequate” and ordered the state to develop and potentially execute a plan to obtain adequate funding for a comprehensive cleanup of the land.
After Judge Chang’s order, DLNR said that as the landlord of the property, it would work with the Army to develop a formal inspection, monitoring and reporting process, which has been virtually non-existent. However, the Hawaii Supreme Court overturned part of the order.
Hawai'i State organizations that support this petition are: Hawai'i Peace and Justice; Veterans for Peace-Chapter 113-Hawai'i; Cancel RIMPAC Coalition; Golden Rule Anti-Nuclear Sailing Ship: Women's Voices Women Speak; Malu Aina Center for Non-Violent Education and Action; Peace Action-Maui;
National and International Organizations that support this petition: World Beyond War; Peace Action; Popular Resistance;
VIDEO: Mauna Kea Observatory Directors Give Update
Hawaii Has Failed To Take Care Of Pohakuloa
Ching v. Case Ruling
How it will be delivered
We will deliver this petition in person through a press conference at the State Capitol to the Governor of the State of Hawai'i and the Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.