STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1189-20
RE: S.B. No. 2812
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Water, Land, & Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 2812, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AGRICULTURAL LANDS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to:
(1) Clarify that agricultural activities on non‑agricultural park lands may include the care and production of pasture lands;
(2) Require the Department of Land and Natural Resources to transfer certain non-agricultural park lands to the Department of Agriculture as authorized by section 166E‑3, Hawaii Revised Statutes;
(3) Require the Department of Land and Natural Resources to accept and return to its land inventory any parcel, or portion thereof, transferred pursuant to this Act that the Department of Agriculture has determined to be unsuitable or unnecessary for agricultural use; and
(4) Require reports to the legislature on implementing the land transfers, addressing concerns about stewardship, and complying with the land transfers.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Forest Industry Association; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc; Land Use Research Foundation of Hawaii; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Hawaii Meats LLC; Kapapala Ranch; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; Larry Jefts Farms, LLC; Meadow Gold Dairies; Maui County Farm Bureau; McCandless Ranch; Ulupono Initiative; Ulupalakua Ranch; Ponoholo Ranch Limited; Local Food Coalition; a petition signed by forty individuals; and ten individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii's Thousand Friends, The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance Foundation, Ahahui Malama I Ka Lokahi/Hawaiians for the Conservation of Native Ecosystems, Conservation Council for Hawai‘i, Animal Rights Hawai‘i, and sixteen individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture and one individual.
Your Committee finds that many farmers and ranchers who hold leases of pasture land under the Department of Land and Natural Resources were informed that their leases would be transferred to the Department of Agriculture pursuant to Act 90, Session Laws of Hawaii 2003 (Act 90). Your Committee further finds that these transfers have not been effectuated, leading to confusion and concern by the leaseholders. This measure addresses those concerns by requiring the transfer of identified non-agricultural park lands from the Department of Land and Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Amending the tax map keys of non-agricultural park lands to be transferred pursuant to this measure;
(2) Inserting an appropriation of general revenues for deposit into the Non-Agricultural Park Lands Special Fund;
(3) Establishing a process to allow the Land Use Commission to determine if lands that may be subject to transfer under Act 90 but were not specifically identified by this measure are bona fide agricultural land, including pasture land, or conservation land;
(4) Changing the effective date to July 1, 2051, to encourage further discussion; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity, consistency, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water, Land, & Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2812, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2812, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water, Land, & Hawaiian Affairs,
RYAN I. YAMANE, Chair