Funds OK’d for Pupukea-Paumalu Natural Area (HI)

HONOLULU, HI, 10/22/04 – Guided by the leadership of U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has granted $2 million in federal funds from the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program toward the effort to purchase and protect the 1,129-acre P?p?kea-Paumal? property on O’ahu’s North Shore. The Trust for Public Land, a non-profit group spearheading the effort, announced the grant today and praised Senator Inouye for securing the funds. Once the planned site of a large development above Sunset Beach, the property remains in open space today after development plans fell through in the face of stiff community opposition and economic changes.

“The land and scenic bluffs at P?p?kea and Paumal? are treasures that must be protected,” said Senator Inouye. “The preservation of this land on the North Shore will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy its beauty and the simple open space. With the federal share in place, securing the local share from the State and City will complete the partnership and acquisition.”

The forested P?p?kea-Paumal? property borders popular Boy Scout and Girl Scout camps, and forms a scenic backdrop to surf competitions and television and movie productions. Protection of P?p?kea-Paumal? is also favored heavily by the U.S. Army, who pledged earlier this year to contribute up to $3 million in funding to protecting the property. The Army is interested in limiting development adjacent to training areas on O’ahu, and in encouraging areas for the conservation of native plant and animal habitat outside of Army lands. The State of Hawai’i and the City and County of Honolulu have both appropriated funding for the effort as well.

“The Council has made it clear that we want to see this land protected and are pleased to hear that we’re a step closer,” stated Donovan M. Dela Cruz, Chair of the Honolulu City Council. “We passed a resolution earlier this year supporting the community’s desire to see Pupukea kept in open space, and we have also committed funding to the effort.”

A public purchase and protection of the land will also help preserve the water quality and the scenic beauty of world-famous surf breaks at Sunset Beach, Rocky Point, Pipeline and Log Cabins. In addition, a purchase will protect the native Hawaiian plants, cultural sites, state water reserves and World War II historic sites found on the property, as well as providing agricultural, hiking, and educational opportunities for both local residents and visitors.

“The Trust for Public Land and our partners commend Senator Inouye and the State and County for making a strong commitment to make these incredible lands at P?p?kea-Paumal? open to the community,” said Tily Shue, Director of TPL’s Hawai’i Field Office. TPL and the North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT), a local nonprofit actively involved in protecting the rural character of the North Shore of O’ahu, are seeking additional funding from private sources to supplement public funds already dedicated to the effort.

Under the proposed public puchase, the large upper portion would be turned over to Hawai’i State Parks to be used for hiking, outdoor education, native plant restoration and agricultural and forestry activities. A smaller lower portion will go the Honolulu County as a possible expansion of Sunset Beach Community Park. Stewardship and management responsibilities for the land will be shared with community organizations.

TPL is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people. Established in San Francisco in 1972, TPL has protected nearly 2 million acres nationwide as community gardens, parks, greenways, and wilderness areas. In Hawai’i, TPL has protected more than 2,000 acres including Wai?hole Beach Park in windward O’ahu and an addition to Ka’ala Farm in Wai’anae. TPL’s office in Honolulu works with community groups, public agencies, and private and corporate landowners to conserve land important to local communities here in Hawai’i.

Posted 10/2004