President's Message (Jackie Parnell)|
We Must Make Bottle Bill Work (Pearl Johnson)
League Supports Legacy Lands Act (Pearl Johnson)
Kenneth Starr Debates
Social Security Revisited (Pearl Johnson)
League Supports Legacy Lands Act
Joshua Stanbro of the Trust for Public Land met with the Planning & Zoning Committee on February 15. He asked League to support the Legacy Lands Act, which establishes a dedicated funding source for land conservation in Hawaii.
Many federal funds are available to purchase precious coastal, cultural and watershed lands, but the state must come up with matching funds to utilize them. For instance, last year Hawaii lost $1.5 million in federal funds for farm and open space protection because no matching funds were available.
The Legacy Lands Act would provide dedicated funds from the conveyance tax paid on each property sold in Hawaii. At 0.1%, this tax is one of the lowest in the nation. However, even at the current level, about $3 to 4 million per year in dedicated conservation funding would be provided.
Through the years, one of Honolulu Leagues most important goals has been the preservation of open space. Even though a landowner would like to see his land in public hands, he often cannot wait through the lengthy appropriation process. A ready source of matching funds would ensure that open space would stay open when the land becomes available. This fund will help ensure that coastal areas remain undeveloped, that healthy forests and open spaces protect us from flooding and provide clean water, and help farmers stay on the land and provide us with local produce.
A call to action
Please urge your legislators to support HB1308 and SB1897. The Senate bill particularly needs help.
North Shore Sale
The committee also discussed the Campbell Estate sale of 1800 acres on the North Shore. The plan to sell was announced last July, but we have seen no further news. A portion of these acres may become part of the Campbell National Wildlife Refuge; however, the committee wants to find out what is happening with the rest of 1800 acres. If you have any information, please let me know.
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