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State acquires 700 acres of land on Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and Molokaʻi for conservation

The largest conservation acquisition is 516 acres of land in Mākolelau on Molokaʻi.
The largest conservation acquisition is 516 acres of land in Mākolelau on Molokaʻi.

About 700 combined acres from Oʻahu, Kauaʻi and Molokaʻi joined the Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Legacy Land Conservation Program.

The program began nearly 20 years ago to provide protection to land with cultural and environmental value under state law.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources approved about $6,350,000 in grant awards to acquire the properties. County programs and private donations are expected to provide about $9,028,000.

"These grant awards are instrumental in our fulfillment of our resource protection mission," said Dawn Chang, chair of DLNR.

The largest acquisition was 516 acres of land in Mākolelau on Molokaʻi.

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife will steward the direction and conservation of the property. The ahupuaʻa is home to native forests and high-priority watersheds.

A little more than 1,000 acres of Mākolelau were purchased by the DLNR for conservation purposes last year.

Nonprofit organizations Hoʻokuaʻāina and Kauluakalana will acquire 116.49 acres and 59.27 acres on Oʻahu respectively.

The two organizations focus on restoring traditional Native Hawaiian agriculture methods like fishponds and taro patches.

The nonprofit Kīpuka Kuleana will steward 3.45 acres on Kauaʻi. They currently host community events and research projects to promote the cultural and environmental significance of land on the island.

Chang said partnerships will ensure the "protection and preservation of these significant ecosystems for watershed management, trails access, and protection from potential development."

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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