STAND. COM. REP. NO. 224

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2021

 

RE: H.B. No. 1014

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

Honorable Scott K. Saiki

Speaker, House of Representatives

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Water & Land, to which was referred H.B. No. 1014 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO AUTHORIZING THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO LEASE PASTURE LANDS ON TERMS THAT PROMOTE COLLABORATIVE BENEFICIAL USE FOR FORESTRY, WILDLIFE, RECREATIONAL, AND FOOD PRODUCTION PURPOSES,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose of this measure is to authorize the Board of Land and Natural Resources to amend and extend existing pasture leases and to issue new pasture leases by negotiation in furtherance of public purposes that are the Department of Land and Natural Resources' responsibility to promote, subject to certain provisions.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Conservation Council for Hawaii, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture; Ulupono Initiative; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Kapapala Ranch; Hawaii Farm Bureau; and one individual.

 

Your Committee finds that under existing law, the Department of Land and Natural Resources is permitted to transfer agricultural lands to the Department of Agriculture. However, pasture lands are not classified the same as agricultural lands and are a critical part of the Department of Land and Natural Resources forest protection and hunting and recreation initiatives. Your Committee further finds that extending and amending the pasture leases will allow for greater resource protection and enhancement. Your Committee acknowledges the long-standing concerns of lessees of pasture lands and the important role these lessees play not only in food production and agriculture, but in conservation and land stewardship as well. As such, your Committee finds that an additional framework may be necessary to ensure the State can support conservation and responsible land use, as well as agricultural food production.

 

Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Inserting language which gives preference to the Department of Land and Natural Resources to use lands that were initially transferred to the Department of Agriculture for productive agricultural use, only if certain conditions the Department of Land and Natural Resources are met prior to the use of the land;

 

(2) Requiring the establishment of a third-party committee in cases that the management of parcels are disputed to:

 

(A) Assess the resource values according to certain criteria prior to the disposition or transfer of any disputed land; and

 

(B) Submit findings to the Board of Land and Natural Resources and Board of Agriculture for review and consideration before approval of any disposition or transfer of disputed land;

 

(3) Changing the effective date to January 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(4) 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 that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1014, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1014, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.

 

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water & Land,

 

 

 

 

____________________________

DAVID A. TARNAS, Chair