Hawaii County may seek out a partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal companies in an try to acquire federal conservation money.
At a Tuesday conference of the Hawaii County Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations, Relations and Economic Growth, council customers listened to a proposal to designate the entire Island of Hawaii as a “Sentinel Landscape.”
Sentinel Landscapes are places specified by the U.S. departments of Protection, Agriculture and Interior as lands suited to protect nearby armed service amenities, this kind of as the Large Island’s Pohakuloa Coaching Area, from land use that would be incompatible with these facilities’ missions, claimed Lea Hong, director of the Hawaii business of nationwide conservation nonprofit Trust for Community Land, who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting.
The Sentinel Landscape plan would dovetail with an present partnership between the state and the DOD: the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration plan.
Less than the REPI, Hong stated, the U.S. Armed Forces have funded various conservation jobs during the condition in exchange for a restriction on how lands adjacent to their armed service bases have been applied. Hong stated “compatible uses” for land in close proximity to armed service bases incorporates agriculture and livestock grazing.
“Essentially, (DOD) just don’t want any progress,” Hong explained, introducing that the REPI application commenced in the 2000s as an energy to prevent the encroachment of urban advancement on army services.
On the other hand, the Sentinel Landscape designation would “supercharge” this partnership with the DOD, Hong stated, explaining that, less than the designation, any conservation projects below DOD, USDA or DOI applications inside of the Sentinel Landscape place — which Hong said could encompass the entire island — would be suitable for priority funding from those people agencies.
These resources, Hong mentioned, would mainly be leveraged by private landowners, but she additional that there could possibly be cash obtainable for condition and county tasks as very well.
Hong explained the Sentinel Landscape designation does not impose any further limits on the land. Fairly, the U.S. Armed Forces assist the designation based on Hawaii’s strategic great importance in the Indo-Pacific and the stability advantages of enhancing weather transform resilience, she mentioned.
Dependent on Hong’s proposal, most or all of the Major Island, Oahu and Kauai could be specified as a Sentinel Landscape. On the Big Island, Hong’s proposal imagines a 10-mile-radius buffer zone about the military services lands at Pohakuloa, the bulk of which are by now point out park or normally safeguarded land.
If granted, Hong stated the designation would keep on being in perpetuity. Inspite of this, Hong reported the selection bordering the designation is unrelated to the future 2029 expiration of the military’s lease for PTA.
“This is a way to check out to get some constructive gain from the military’s presence right here,” Hong explained, noting the damaging environmental impacts of sustained armed forces training activity on the island.
If the island is specified a Sentinel Landscape, it would be a part of an special club: Only 7 other locations in the nation have been so specified.
“I’m just proposing this on a whim and a prayer,” Hong said. “We do not have any assets to operate toward this right now.”
Hong claimed she will submit an software for the designation to the DOD at the stop of the month. At the time the software approach begins, she assured that there will be a “more robust” attempt to generate dialogue of the issue with users of the general public.
At the suggestion of Councilwoman Maile David, who signifies Kona and Ka’u, council customers can endorse the software on an unique foundation in the subsequent week, despite the fact that they were noncommittal about the proposal at Tuesday’s meeting. David said there was not plenty of time for an official council resolution on the make any difference prior to Hong’s deadline at the conclusion of the thirty day period.
Hong stated the proposal has the wide support of the state’s Congressional delegation and a number of county officers, which includes Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.
Mayor Mitch Roth, she reported, has indicated preliminary guidance for the proposal.
E mail Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune- herald.com.