Councilmember Bob Jacobson
Hawai`i County Council District 6 Upper Puna-Ka`u-South Kona

I will be introducing this resolution at either the April 15th or the May 6th 2003 Public Works and Intergovernmental Relations (PWIGR) Committee meeting of the Hawaii County Council. This will be held in the Council Chambers at 25 Aupuni St., Hilo, 96720. Time to be announced (check newspapers or call the County Council office at 961-8225).  Fax written testimony to 961-8912 or mail to above address.  Address written testimony to PW/IGR Committee Chairman Leningrad Elarionoff and Committee Members. If you wish to give oral testimony, show up the day of the meeting before the time of the meeting and sign up to speak for 3 minutes.  If you think it will takes more than 3 minutes, submit your comments in writing to make sure they get into the record.  Please try to be succinct in your comments and try to make your own points rather than repeating what was already said.  Of course you should express what is in your heart.  Do remember that many people may feel as you do already and, you should show respect for your adversaries.  These people may be your allies before too long as this war progresses.  In any case I'll see you there on one of the above dates or will read your comments when you send them in.  Don't hesitate to share this resolution with those you think may oppose it.  I want to make sure people know what this resolution really says.  If they have comments, encourage them to send them in or testify also.

Mahalo!  Bob Jacobson, Councilmember District 6, Hawaii County Council

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COUNTY OF HAWAI'I                                               STATE OF HAWAI'I 


Whereas, in December of 1985 the State of Hawai`i exchanged approximately 27,800 acres of ceded lands, once part of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, that included the Wao Kele 'o Puna Natural Area Reserve and other Puna lands on the Island of Hawai`i for approximately 25,800 acres of land at Kahauale'a then owned by the Estate of James Campbell; and 

Whereas, in the case of Pele Defense Fund v. Estate of James Campbell, et al., in the Hawai`i Third Circuit Court, the Plaintiff, Pele Defense Fund, challenged the land exchange and asserted claims to important Native Hawaiian rights based on traditional access and gathering practices of Native Hawaiians in the Puna region, and relating to traditional uses of Wao Kele 'o Puna; and 

Whereas, the Hawai`i Supreme Court held in Pele Defense Fund v. Paty, 73 Haw. 578, 837 P.2d 1247 (1992), that although Pele Defense Fund could not contest the transfer of public ceded lands exchanged for Kahauale`a, it could litigate the extent to which Hawaiians retained rights customarily and traditionally exercised for subsistence, cultural and religious purposes in Wao Kele 'o Puna; and 

Whereas, Pele Defense Fund's Wao Kele 'o Puna litigation was remanded by the Supreme Court for trial on whether those traditional access and gathering practices of Native Hawaiians in Wao Kele 'o Puna must be legally protected ; and 

Whereas, prior to and during this litigation, certain permits were issued by regulatory agencies of the State of Hawai`i in regard to the geothermal development activities in Wao Kele o Puna; and 

Whereas, geothermal development activities were conducted in Wao Kele o Puna, including the building of roads, the clearing of a development site, and creation of geothermal waste holding ponds and the drilling of one or more exploratory geothermal wells at the development site; and 

Whereas, the Estate of James Campbell and True Geothermal Energy Company were obligated by the permits issued by agencies of the State of Hawai`i to conduct certain remedial activities in regard to their permitted geothermal activities; and 

Whereas, the Estate of James Campbell and True Geothermal Energy Company, a Wyoming general partnership, has abandoned its plans to develop geothermal energy in Wao Kele o Puna;  and 

Whereas, the remedial activities required by the permits issued by agencies of the State of Hawai`i have not been completed; and 

Whereas, Wao Kele o Puna was originally designated a Natural Area Reserve because it is possessed of certain unique and valuable ecological resources and values that are worthy of and particularly merit protection and preservation; and 

Whereas, the unique biota of Wao Kele o Puna includes endangered species that are threatened by invasive alien species, including alien species that have occupied road and developed areas used in geothermal exploration; and 

Whereas, the character of Wao Kele o Puna includes traditional uses, Hawaiian burial sites and underground lava tubes that are uniquely specific to the rain forest and would inhibit and make inappropriate commercial development or uses; and 

Whereas, on August 26, 2002, the Court entered its Final Judgment in favor of the Pele Defense Fund against the Estate of James Campbell in a recedent-setting decision for the benefit of all Hawaiians, which formally acknowledged and confirmed important traditional access, gathering and hunting rights for cultural practitioners for the first time; 

Whereas, said Final Judgment creates a permanent access easement for all Hawaiians to Wao Kele o Puna in perpetuity and designated the Pele Defense Fund with the responsibility of monitoring enforcement of the access easement for all Hawaiians; 

Whereas, the Estate of James Campbell now wishes to dispose of certain non-income producing lands it owns, including the lands in Puna known as Wao Kele 'o Puna and Kahauale'a; and 

Whereas, certain nonprofit groups have expressed interest in purchasing Wao Kele o Puna for the purpose of preserving the land, and protecting its ecology and the traditional uses associated therewith; and 

Whereas, preservation and protection of Wao Kele o Puna is in the public interest of the people of the County of Hawai`i and the State of Hawai`i; and 

Whereas, the County of Hawai`i wishes to be on record as supporting the preservation and protection of Wao Kele o Puna; 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Hawaii County Council supports th effort by conservation groups working in consultation with the Pele Defense Fund to acquire Wao Kele o Puna, for purposes of preservation and protection.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that government officials and agencies of Hawai`i County and the State of Hawai`i are encouraged to support the effort by conservation groups working in consultation with the Pele Defense Fund to acquire Wao Kele o Puna, since the county views this acquisition as a high priority that will promote county and state interests, the general welfare, and county and state goals to protect important conservation lands;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the County Clerk transmit copies of this resolution to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie, U.S. Representative Ed Case, and Governor Linda Lingle, State Senate President Robert Bunda, State Senator Lorraine Inouye, State Senator Willie Espero, State Senator Colleen Hanabusa, State Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland, Speaker of the State House of Representatives
Calvin Say, State Representative Hermina Morita, State Representative Thomas Waters, State Representative Ezra Kanoho, State Representative Sol Kaho`ohalahala, Trustees of the Estate of James Campbell, and the Pele Defense Fund.




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