ʻĀina Mauna Legacy Program – Preparation of Master Plan; Implementation Work Plan; Environmental Assessment and Cultural Impact Assessment
The ʻĀina Mauna Legacy Program is DHHL’s long‐range planning document geared to restore and protect approximately 56,000‐acres of native Hawaiian forest on Mauna Kea that is ecologically culturally and economically self‐sustaining for the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust, its beneficiaries and the community. Program actions and analysis include:
- Native Forest Restoration and Sustainable Koa Forestry
- Invasive Plant Control and Remnant Invasive Species Eradication
- Non‐Native Wildlife Control and Management (i.e. ungulates)
- Road System, Fencing, Water Systems etc.
- Research and Community Outreach
As part of the Environmental Assessment preparation process, a separate Cultural Impact Assessment was prepared for the ʻĀina Mauna Legacy Program.
The lands of Humuʻula and Piʻihonua represent the most important native forest areas remaining in the DHHL trust. These lands provide a glimpse into the natural environment and native forests that are disappearing throughout the state. The area serves as valuable habitat to many native and endemic species. The area’s proximity to Mauna Kea also makes it a valuable cultural resource. These lands have the potential for serving as a sustainable native forest and land unit by simultaneously providing environmental, economic and social benefits to the trust and its beneficiaries in perpetuity.
The scope of work for the Cultural Impact Assessment included:
- Examination of cultural and historical resources, including historic maps, and previous research reports and interviews, with the specific purpose of identifying traditional Hawaiian activities including religious practices, gathering of plant, animal, and other resources, or agricultural pursuits as may be indicated in the historic or oral history records;
- A review of previous archaeological work that may be relevant to reconstruction of traditional land use activities; and the identification and description of cultural resources, practices, and beliefs associated with ʻĀina Mauna;
- Consultation and interviews with knowledgeable parties regarding traditional cultural practices, present and/or past uses of the area; and
- Preparation of a report summarizing the results of these research activities
Multiple reference documents related to the above research were reviewed and incorporated into the analysis and conclusions of the Cultural Impact Assessment.
The ʻĀina Mauna Legacy Program was unanimously approved by the Hawaiian Homes Commission and was given the “Environment/Preservation Award” from the American Planning Association‐Hawaiʻi Chapter and the “Koa: Standing the Test of Time Award” by the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture and the Hawaiʻi Forest Industry Association.