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State purchases, will preserve Hamakua Hillside in Kailua

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 11:31 a.m. HST, Feb 11, 2013

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Wednesday will announce the purchase of Kailua's 67.18-acre Hamakua Hillside, in an ongoing effort to preserve the adjacent Hamakua Marsh.

The state purchase culminates a four-year effort to protect the hillside and the marsh in their natural state.

The marsh, the largest remaining natural wetland in Hawaii, is home to all four endangered endemic Hawaiian water birds, the Hawaiian duck, Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian stilt.

Kaneohe Ranch Co., which sold the land to the state, promised in 2003, not to develop the land in order to protect the marsh.

In 1994, the Harold K.L. Castle family donated Hamakua Marsh to Ducks Unlimited, a private environmental protection organization, with the understanding that the group would improve and restore the marsh and then donate it to the state so it could be protected in perpetuity.

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allie wrote:
wonderful donation!
on February 11,2013 | 10:50AM
CriticalReader wrote:
The state should create hiking trails, open the hills up, and promote the area heavily to tourists. That way the helicopters won't have to go as far to rescue them.
on February 11,2013 | 12:14PM
control wrote:
Kailua doesn't need any more tourists. Half of them can't even find the beach.
on February 11,2013 | 12:56PM
Slow wrote:
Too late, kid.
on February 11,2013 | 01:03PM
allie wrote:
good idea...beautiful area
on February 11,2013 | 03:32PM
Slow wrote:
As a 40 year Kailua resident I am happy that Kaneohe Ranch will not be building Kailua Bay Vista Towers on the hillside but, Allie (and anyone else similarly misinformed), it was not a donation. The only donation is by the taxpayers of Hawaii to the Castle family. The Castle family is quite obviously transforming Kailua into Carmel or La Jolla. But that is good. It's all about jobs and the very rich need yardboys and tree-trimmers. Maybe a dog-walker or two.
on February 11,2013 | 04:48PM
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