Skip to main content

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

Do Not Extend $1 Lease on 23,000 acres of Hawai'i State Lands in Military Pōhakuloa Training Area

Petition Text

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;

Background Links:
VIDEO: Mauna Kea Observatory Directors Give Update
https://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2019/08/25/video-mauna-kea-observatories-directors-give-update

Hawaii Has Failed To Take Care Of Pohakuloa
https://www.civilbeat.org/2019/08/hawaii-has-failed-to-take-care-of-pohakuloa/

Ching v. Case Ruling
https://law.justia.com/cases/hawaii/supreme-court/2019/scap-18-0000432.html

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.

Hawaii, USA

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • These lands were stolen and its time they go back to the people.
  • STOP DESTROYING OUR LAND!
  • To Stop the desecration!!!

Updates

2021-08-08 15:57:08 -0400

Please send comments to the USArmy EIS. ..
usarmy.hawaii.nepa@mail.mil

And to the Hawai'i State Department of Land Resources (DLNR) not to re-lease to Military:
dlnr@hawaii.gov and
dlnr.land@hawaii.gov

2021-08-05 17:48:21 -0400

Please send your comments on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) concerning releasing proposal by September 1 to: usarmy.hawaii.nepa@mail.mil or online: https://home.army.mil/hawaii/index.php/OahuEIS or by U.S. Mail: O‘ahu ATLR EIS Comments, P.O. Box 3444, Honolulu, HI 96801-3444
Public hearings livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/usaghawaii/live. Oral comments by calling (808) 556-8277 Aug. 10 & 11 from 4-9 p.m.
The 69 page EIS scoping paper is here: http://oeqc2.doh.hawaii.gov/Doc_Library/2021-07-23-OA-EISPN-Army-Training-Land-Retention-on-Oahu.pdf

2021-08-05 17:46:20 -0400

The 65-year leases of 30,000 acres of Hawai’i state land by the U.S. military are ending in 2029. The State of Hawai’i should not re-lease these lands no matter what the amount the U.S. military offers.
The leases on 23,000 acres at Pohakuloa Training Area on Big Island, 4,370 acres at Kawailoa/Poamoho Training Area, 1,170 acres at Kahuku Training area and 760 acres at the Makua Military Reservation were given away essentially for free, with the State charging only $1 for each parcel for 65-years!! The 3 areas on Oahu are 1/3 of the 18,060 federal and state lands used for military training on the island. The 23,000 acres at Pohakuloa are 17% of the 133,000 acres that comprise the largest military training area in the state & in the Pacific region.

2020-10-05 04:52:04 -0400

5,000 signatures reached

2020-10-03 13:42:18 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-10-03 13:16:04 -0400

500 signatures reached

2020-10-03 13:05:06 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-10-03 13:03:24 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-10-03 13:02:13 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-10-01 15:51:39 -0400

10 signatures reached