The acquisition of nearly 3,500 acres of land in Kula, Maui, is expected to improve habitat for native plants and insects, recharge the Makawao aquifer and, eventually, provide recreational activities for the public.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced today that a management plan for the property, which was conveyed to the department’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife on Aug. 31, will “address native forest restoration and tree planting for self-sustaining forestry operations and endangered species recovery.”
“I am proud to have been part of this collaborative effort. Thanks to the efforts of DLNR, TPL, and federal funding, this spectacular property will be preserved in perpetuity for the benefit of the public,” Rep. Kyle Yamashita (D, Sprecklesville-Upcountry Maui) said in a statement.
The Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit whose mission is to “save land for people to enjoy,” according to its website, purchased 3,433 of upland Kula property from the Shizuka Asakawa Revocable Trust in July before conveying the property to DOFAW.
Most of the funds for the $9.8 million purchase came from U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program — about $3.8 million — and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — $2 million — the DLNR said.
State funding through legislative appropriation accounted for $4 million.
DOFAW will add the property to the Forest Reserve System and develop a management plan for it after consulting with the community.
The DLNR said eventually the property will provide the public with hiking trails, picnic areas and “places to grow and gather forest products.”