Hawaii considers Haleakala land swap for trail

MAKAWAO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii state land officials are seeking approval to swap land with Haleakala Ranch Co. to give public access to a historic trail.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday that a nonprofit says the proposed move by the Department of Land and Natural Resources would be illegal without an environmental study.

State forestry and wildlife officials also want approval for an archaeological survey and environmental review, along with the plan itself.

The board says the proposal is being made to avoid a costly lawsuit and give access to Haleakala Bridle Trail. State officials say it would also create public routes to two reserves.

Attorney Tom Pierce of Public Access Trails Hawaii says the proposal is seeking a deal before an environmental review. Pierce says he wants a deferral.

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