Thursday, Jan 24, 2008
One of Mauiâs largest undeveloped tracts, which has been under private ownership for more than a century, is now part of Haleakala National Park thanks to Hawaiiâs congressional delegation, the James Campbell Company and The Conservation Fund. The acquisition expands the park by more than 4,100 acres, extending from the rim of Haleakala crater at the 6,000 feet elevation to the south coast of Kaupo.
The land, known as Nuâu Ranch, provides critical habitat for rare birds and animals and includes several significant Hawaiian cultural sites.
Hawaiiâs congressional delegation, led by Senator Dan Inouye, secured $3.3 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire the property on behalf of the National Park Service. The James Campbell Companyâs commitment to the acquisition was made possible by bridge financing support from The Conservation Fund.
âThis is truly a testament to public-private partnerships,â said Senator Inouye. "Together we have succeeded in protecting an invaluable asset. With more than half of the worldâs population living within 60 miles of a seacoast, it becomes very important to preserve Hawaiiâs shorelines; this acquisition will protect more than half a mile of Mauiâs precious south coast in perpetuity.â
âThe land is now open for public use and enjoyment for the first time in more than 100 years and we are pleased to have been able to play a role in placing this land in the public trust forever,â said Campbell Company CEO Steve MacMillan.
The Conservation Fund negotiated the purchase of the property from the James Campbell Company.
âThanks to the support of the congressional delegation, the commitment of the James Campbell Company and the dedication of the National Park Service, these important lands will safeguard wildlife habitat, help to preserve Native Hawaiian cultural resources and enhance public recreation areas in one of the nationâs most spectacular park,â said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund.
"This ahupua'a (land division) extends from the mountains to the sea and contains the diverse resources Native Hawaiians needed for survival," said Senator Daniel K. Akaka. "Today, this ahupua'a is important for the preservation of our cultural history and environment which is truly unique. As a result of this partnership, this special piece of our heritage and 'aina (land) will be preserved so that it may be experienced by both kama'aina (residents) and visitors of Hawaii for generations to come."
âMy congratulations to all who have made it possible to preserve this significant piece of our unique and extraordinary island environment and history,â said Congresswoman Mazie Hirono.
âThis is our way of keeping a unique and irreplaceable part of Hawaiiâs past alive into the future,â said Congressman Neil Abercrombie, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees the National Park System. âExpanding and protecting Haleakala National Park makes an important statement about who we are and what we value.â
Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares said, âThis is wonderful news for the people of Maui. I am deeply grateful for the support of Hawaiiâs congressional delegation, the James Campbell Company and The Conservation Fund. Their action and commitment will protect and preserve a precious area of significance for our future generations and acknowledges the rich history of the place.â
Significant portions of the property contain remnants of the native koa forest ecosystem that once dominated the island, providing critical habitat for rare native bird species. Lower elevations have intact, dry wiliwili forests, habitat for the endangered Blackburnâs sphinx moth and Hawaiian hoary bat.
Rich in cultural traditions, the lands now comprising Haleakala National Park have played an important role in the lives of the Native Hawaiians for more than 1200 years. Important cultural places and sites are found within the Summit and Kipahulu areas and are spoken of in numerous Hawaiian mele (songs/chants) and legends. The newly-protected lands have cultural sites including heiau or ancient Hawaiian temples.
âWe are very excited about this new addition to Haleakala National Park,â said Marilyn Parris, superintendent of Haleakala National Park. âThis new addition ensures these critical cultural and natural resources will be preserved and protected for our future generations. We also very much appreciate the support of Sen. Inouye and the partnership alliances necessary to make this land acquisition happen for the park.â
The James Campbell Company LLC is a private, Hawaii-based, and nationally diversified real estate company with properties in Washington, D.C. and 16 states across the U.S. In 2007, the James Campbell Company succeeded the Estate of James Campbell, a 107-year-old private trust that was the legacy of one of Hawaii's foremost business pioneers. As co-founder of the Pioneer Sugar Mill, James Campbell played an important role in Mauiâs economy in the late 19th century. For more information visit www.jamescampbell.com.
The Conservation Fund is the nation's foremost environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting America's land and water legacy for current and future generations. Seeking innovative conservation solutions for the 21st century, the Fund works to integrate economic and environmental goals. Since its founding in 1985, the Fund has helped its partners safeguard wildlife habitat, working landscapes, community "greenspace," and historic sites totaling nearly 6 million acres. With 1% fund raising costs and 97% program allocation, The Conservation Fund is recognized as the nation's top rated environmental nonprofit by both the American Institute of Philanthropy and Charity Navigator. Their web site is www.conservationfund.org