FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Honolulu, Hawai`i – A land preservation agreement between Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and landowner Ed Olson ensures 1,276 acres at Honouliuli on O`ahu, and 907 acres at Honu`apo on Hawai`i Island are to continue in perpetuity as working ranch and farm lands. The newly formed Hawaiian Islands Land Trust worked together with The Nature Conservancy to secure the agreement that protects this land in perpetuity.
On O`ahu, cattle grazing predominates on the 1276 acres of land situated on the eastern slope of the Waianae Mountains. The parcel is in close proximity to the Waianae Kai Forest Preserve and creates a continuity of natural areas, preserving a significant expanse that dominates downtown Honolulu’s `Ewa view. Olson’s voluntary land preservation agreement secures the land for continued agricultural use and safeguards the property’s numerous cultural sites and pockets of healthy wildlife habitats.
In Ka`u on Hawai`i Island Olson’s protection of his 907 acre Honu`apo property ensures the traditional land use of farming and ranching will continue. Similar to O`ahu, the terms of the land agreement protect significant wildlife areas and cultural sites within the property. The agricultural areas are currently leased to Aina Koa Pono, an alternative energy company that is exploring biofuel-based production in the Ka`u area.
A vision for sustained agricultural use and managed conservation areas led Olson to voluntarily place these conservation easements on over two thousand acres of its land. “When I acquired these lands, it was for agricultural production and to maintain the character of the Ka’u area. This conservation easement guarantees that this will happen” said landowner Ed Olson. A major holder of former C. Brewer and Campbell Estate lands, the Edmund C. Olson Trust owns over 15,000 acres of agriculture lands throughout Hawai`i.
“The Nature Conservancy is pleased that these conservation easements are able to protect areas of important native forest biodiversity as well as assuring their continued availability for agriculture production,” says John Henshaw, Director of Land Protection for The Nature Conservancy.
The completion of this land agreement also highlights the strength of collaborative work between conservation groups in Hawai`i. Working in tandem, The Nature Conservancy and Hawaiian Islands Land Trust drew upon organizational and individual specialties in compiling the numerous and lengthy details that land agreements such as this demand. “We are extremely fortunate in Hawai`i to have so many very capable, committed conservation organizations that are willing to work together to protect the special places in our State” said Dale Bonar, Executive Director of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust. “We all realize that in the final analysis it is the `aina, and not our egos, that is the first priority.”
Hawaiian Islands Land Trust will hold the conservation easement protecting these 2,183 acres. This is the organization’s first conservation project following its formation on January 1, 2011 through the merger of land trusts on Maui, Kaua`i, Hawai`i Island and O`ahu. With this addition, Hawaiian Islands Land Trust now oversees stewardship and protection of over 17,400 acres across the State.The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.