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Kahoolawe

From dKosopedia

Kaho‘olawe, the former military target island that has become a symbol of native Hawaiian activism and cultural rebirth, is the smallest of the eight main Hawaiian islands, approximately 11 miles long, 7 miles wide and 45 square miles in area. The highest point on Kaho'olawe is Lua Makika, with an elevation of 1477 feet above sea level. Part of the County of Maui, Kaho‘olawe has no permanent residents. Located across the channel and in the rain shadow of massive volcano Haleakala, relatively low-lying Kaho‘olawe is presently an arid island.

When Pearl Harbor was attacked, the U.S. government placed the Territory of Hawai'i under martial law and the entire island of Kaho‘olawe was appropriated by the U.S. military for training puposes, which eventually included targeted aerial bombing. The use of Kaho'olawe for target practice lasted from 1941 until 1990. Prior to WWII, Kaho‘olawe had been used for cattle ranching, as a forest reserve, and during the reign of Kamehameha III, was a male penal colony. In prehistory, Kaho‘olawe had small fishing communities and some inland areas were cultivated. There is evidence that Kaho‘olawe's fine-grained basalt was quarried for the making of adzes.

On Jan. 4, 1976, Nine protesters (Emmett Aluli, Kimo Aluli, George Helm, Lind, Ellen Miles, Stephen Morse, Gail Kawaipuna Prejean, Walter Ritte and Karla Villalba) with Protect Kahoolawe Ohana occupy the island. Seven are arrested within hours, but two elude capture and remain on the island for three days. PKO, in the same year, filed suit in federal court to stop the Navy’s use of Kaho‘olawe for military training, to require compliance with a number of new environmental laws and to ensure protection of cultural resources on the island.

In 1977, the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii allowed the Navy’s use of the island to continue, but the Court directed the Navy to prepare an environmental impact statement and complete an inventory of historic sites on the island. On March 9, 1977, two PKO leaders, George Helm and Kimo Mitchell, were lost at sea during an attempt to occupy Kaho‘olawe in symbolic protest.

In 1980, the Navy and the Protect Kahoolawe Ohana entered into a Consent Decree which allowed continued military training on the island, monthly access to the island for the PKO, surface clearance of part of the island, soil conservation, goat eradication and an archeological survey.

On March 18, 1981, the entire island was added to the National Register of Historic Places. At that time, the Kaho‘olawe Archaeological District was noted to contain 544 recorded archaeological or historic sites.

On October 22, 1990, President George H. W. Bush ordered an end to military use of the island. The Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1991 established the Kaho‘olawe Island Conveyance Commission to recommend terms and conditions for the conveyance of Kaho‘olawe by the United States government to the State of Hawai‘i.

In 1993, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii sponsored Title X of the Fiscal Year 1994 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, directing that the United States convey Kaho‘olawe and its surrounding waters to the State of Hawaii. Title X also established the objective of a “clearance or removal of unexploded ordnance” and environmental restoration of the island, to provide “meaningful safe use of the island for appropriate cultural, historical, archaeological, and educational purposes, as determined by the State of Hawaii.” In turn, the State created the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission to exercise policy and management oversight of the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve. As directed by Title X and in accordance with a required Navy/State of Hawaii Memorandum of Understanding, the Navy transferred title of Kaho`olawe to the State of Hawaii on May 9, 1994.

As required by Title X, the Navy retained access control to the island until clearance and environmental restoration activities were completed, or Nov. 11, 2003, whichever came first. The State agreed to prepare a Use Plan for Kaho’olawe and the Navy agreed to develop a Cleanup Plan based on that use plan and to implement that plan to the extent Congress provided funds for that purpose.

In July 1997, the Navy awarded a contract to the Parsons/UXB Joint Venture to clear ordnance from the island to the extent funds were provided by Congress. After the State and public review of the Navy cleanup plan, Parsons/UXB began their work on the island in November 1998. When the Navy gave control to the State of Hawaii on November 11, 2003, the cleanup of ordnance had not been completed although the U.S. Navy was given $400 million and 10 years to complete the task.

In 1993, the Hawaii State Legislature established the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve, consisting of "the entire island and its surrounding ocean waters in a two mile (3 km) radius from the shore". By State Law, Kaho‘olawe and its waters can only be used for Native Hawaiian cultural, spiritual and subsistence purposes; fishing; environmental restoration; historic preservation; and education. Commercial uses are prohibited.

The Legislature also created the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) to manage the Reserve while it is held in trust for a future Native Hawaiian Sovereignty entity.

External Links

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This page was last modified 19:02, 25 September 2006 by dKosopedia user Jbet777. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) Allamakee Democrat. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.


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