The Maui Council Committee on Agriculture, Diversification, Environmental Protection, and Transportation is seeking community input on lands with conservation value.
Council member Gabe Johnson who chairs the committee, made the announcement. The Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. on June 22 to consider Resolution 23-146, which requests Maui County’s Conservation Planning Committee to review a list of land parcels and provide recommendations to the Mayor and Council on actions for those parcels.
“As a councilmember, the public often approaches me about lands they would like to see protected for environmental and cultural reasons,” said Council member Johnson. “The point of Resolution 23-146 is to seek the Conservation Planning Committee’s expert opinion on what the County should do with some of these lands that have been identified by the public and community groups.”
Resolution 23-146 requests that the Conservation Planning Committee review parcels with conservation value that have been identified by previous councils and community groups such as Sierra Club Maui Chapter, Save the Wetlands Hui, and Rooted Kekahi Me Ka ʻĀina.
At its June 22 meeting, the Agriculture, Diversification, Environmental Protection, and Transportation Committee will consider public input to amend the list of parcels to focus on the most important and endangered lands, and to include additional parcels proposed by committee members and through public testimony, Johnson said.
The Committee will also hear presentations from community groups involved in conservation work on the parcels proposed for the Conservation Planning Committee’s recommendations.
Maui County Code Chapter 2.82.060 authorizes the Council to request that the Conservation Planning Committee provide a recommendation on the acquisition of land or property interests that are consistent with open space, natural resources, cultural resources, and scenic views values, according to Johnson. The Countywide Policy Plan further establishes goals for the preservation, management, and care of Maui County’s natural environment and distinctive open spaces.
“The Conservation Planning Committee was established in 2019 to guide decision-making for acquiring land for conservation purposes,” said Johnson. “While the Committee is overseeing the creation of a green-print conservation plan, that effort currently has a deadline of Dec. 31, 2024. I have heard from the community that many of our important open spaces cannot wait that long for protection.”
“Conservation is critical for a healthy environment, recreation, cultural practices, and preservation of the character of our County,” said Johnson. “I am hopeful for a productive discussion Thursday about the importance of our open spaces and the prioritization of lands to work with the Conservation Planning Committee on.”
In-person, online and phone testimony is welcome at the Agriculture, Diversification, Environmental Protection, and Transportation Committee meeting. Testimony instructions and meeting materials including Resolution 23-146 are on the meeting agenda, available at: mauicounty.us/agendas.