Waimea Deal Reached - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Waimea Deal Reached

HONOLULU (AP) - A court-appointed mediator has announced a 14 (m) million-dollar settlement to protect Waimea Valley from development.

The Army, two state agencies and the National Audubon Society agreed to put up nine (m) million dollars yesterday to add to the city's five (m) million dollars for the land.

The valley could have been developed for homesites and other private uses by New York developer Christian Wolffer.

The valley on Oahu's North Shore includes a popular botanical garden operated by the Audubon Society and a waterfall and pool once used by cliff divers and featured in scenes from the hit T-V series "Lost."

It also houses sacred stones, burial caves, and agricultural sites valued by Native Hawaiians. The settlement with Wolffer was overseen by Clyde Matsui, a court-appointed mediator.

Matsui says the agreement means that the valley will be preserved for all future generations. Ownership of the valley's one-thousand, 875 acres will go to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

In exchange for the title, O-H-A will be required to improve public access in the area and ensure its protection.

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