4 February 2004 - 7:30am

Input on land use for profit sought

Under the proposed DLNR rules change is an amusment park a permitted use on public land?

From the Honolulu Advertizer: Monday, February 2, 2004
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will hold simultaneous public hearings on O'ahu, Maui, Kaua'i and the Big Island Thursday to gather testimony about allowing commercial use of unencumbered public lands. Public meeting this Thursday, Feb 5 at 6pm at State Office Building, 3060 Eiwa St., Lihu'e, conference rooms A, B & C.These are state properties that are not leased, set aside for agencies or designated for specific land use. They include all beaches and coastal areas not under the jurisdiction of another government agency, but not parks, harbors and forest reserves.

Peter Young, DLNR director, said the proposed rule changes will set up a permit process allowing businesses to use the land if they are willing to provide a quality experience for visitors or residents and protect the natural and cultural resources.

"At this time, our rules don't allow commercial activities on unencumbered land," Young said. "Our management priorities are, first, to protect and preserve our natural and cultural resources. Next, where appropriate, we will seek and provide for the public's recreational use of our public unencumbered lands without compromising their protection and preservation."

Dede Mamiya, DLNR land division administrator, said the commercial activities would include weddings and surf schools, but not concession stands. Businesses would simply fill out an application for a permit and pay a fee of about $20. She said the purpose of the public meetings is to accept testimony, and the department will then go to the Land Board and decide whether to amend the rules.

Jeff Mikulina, director of Sierra Club Hawai'i Chapter, said he had several concerns about the proposed rule changes, including a provision that a permit would be granted automatically if no action were taken on it in seven days.

"(Gov. Linda) Lingle testified last year that we should not be approving any permits by default — that's a failure of government — but they should be granted on the merits of the permit," he said.

Mikulina said that under the new rules, permits would be approved by the DLNR director and not the entire Land Board. He would like that changed to allow for public input. He also wants the department to set limits on commercial use of unencumbered lands and to collect a portion of the revenues to go toward protecting the land.

"There is going to be some sort of impact, no matter what it is," he said. "Someone has to pay for that upkeep, so it makes sense to devote a small chunk to maintenance of the resource. "We'd like to see them set some real limits based on what the resource can handle. A lot of these unencumbered lands are where folks seek out because they can have a solitary experience, and that is quickly ruined with too many folks. Hopefully, they will decide what the resource needs are and then what the residents' and visitors' needs are for the wilderness experience."

For more information, call 587-0320. Rules are online at

By James Gonser: Honolulu Advertiser Staff Writer


Commerical Use of Public Lands Meeting Set

SOURCE: LESTER CHANG (Staff Writer Garden Island News) 2 February 2004 - 6:00pm

State Department of Land and Natural Resources officials are looking at ways to allow commercial activities on public lands on Kaua‘i and on other islands that are not being used by government agencies.

DLNR officials will hold simultaneous statewide public hearings on Thursday, Feb. 5 to receive public input on proposed rule changes to establish a commercial use permitting system on "unencumbered lands." Such lands are not leased, set aside to agencies or are designated under an executive order of the state for any particular use, DLNR officials said.

The Kaua‘i meeting will be held in conference rooms A, B and C at the State Building at 3060 Eiwa Street in Lihu‘e. The meeting starts at 6 pm.

Where such "unencumbered lands" exist on Kaua‘i was not immediately identified by DLNR officials.
But in the past, farmers and ranchers leased more than 6,000 acres in East Kaua‘i for their operations. The acreage was leased to Lihue Plantation Company, but the land was given back when cane operations ended in recent years.

DLNR officials said unencumbered lands often include coastal areas and beaches that are not managed by government agencies. Officials said unencumbered lands do not include parks, harbors, forest reserves and other lands with designated uses. On the need for a permit system for unencumbered public lands, DLNR chairperson Peter Young said "We want to set up a permit process so businesses willing to follow the process and provide a quality experience for visitors or residents can do so in an appropriate way -- protecting the natural and cultural resources of an area."

The management priorities of the permit systems are to protect natural and cultural resources; provide for public recreational uses and provide for commercial uses that don't compromise the quality of natural resources or public uses, Young said.
The proposed rules changes can be seen on On Kaua‘i, people can to go the DLNR office at 3060 Eiwa Street in Lihu‘e.

Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225)

Editor's Note:

Read the proposed DLNR rules here with Adobe acrobat.


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