STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1447
RE: S.R. No. 191
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, to which was referred S.R. No. 191 entitled:
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to provide recommendations for the maintenance of South Point Access Road for motor vehicles and pedestrian traffic.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Aha Moku of Ka‘ū, Moku o Keawe. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
Your Committee finds that South Point (Ka Lae) is a special wahi pana of cultural and spiritual significance for the people of Ka‘ū and Hawai‘i Island that warrants immediate and special protection because of its iwi kūpuna, wahi pana, and unique natural resources. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands maintains an access road in Ka Lae. Currently, unregulated access at Ka Lae has compromised the integrity of its iwi kupuna, wahi pana, traditional trails, and coastal ecosystems, resulting in miles of deep, wide, and extremely severe erosion scars. Many Ka‘ū residents are frustrated with the lack of progress for the management of Ka Lae resources and the disregard for the natural and cultural sites of Ka Lae, thereby jeopardizing the preservation of the remaining unique ecosystems of the area to be preserved for future generations. The resource management issues that have arisen over the decades have stemmed from the lack of a consistent Department of Hawaiian Home Lands' management presence at Ka Lae due to insufficient funds, staffing levels, and resources to manage these lands at a higher level.
Your Committee also finds that in 2012 the Hawaiian Homes Commission adopted the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Ka‘ū Regional Plan, which identified the need for a management plan for coastal lands in Ka Lae. Of the fifteen projects identified in the Ka Lae Resource Management Plan, six projects were identified that need to be implemented immediately for future management plans to be successful, including managing vehicular access at Ka Lae ($329,000-$342,000 in annual operating costs); instituting a parking fee for Ka Lae; and planning, designing, and constructing a pedestrian path to Mahana Bay (annual operating costs of $100,300). The South Point Resource Management Plan specifies that the coastal path will allow the public to access the area, but will only serve foot traffic, while the service road will provide access for emergency and maintenance vehicles only.
Therefore, your Committee supports the purpose and intent of this measure requesting that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands be proactive in its effort to maintain the unpaved corridor between the end of the South Point Access Road and the boat ramp at Kaulana Bay and Māhana Bay to the Southernmost Point in the United States. In furtherance thereof, this measure requests the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to provide recommendations, including necessary legislation in a report to the Legislature.
Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Hawaiian Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 191, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.R. No. 191, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs,
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair