In light of eruption, DLNR terminates deal to buy land on Big Island

Updated: Jul. 21, 2018 at 2:04 PM HST
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KAPOHO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - An agreement that would have seen the state acquire hundreds of acres of land on The Big Island has been terminated – and it's all because of destructive lava flows.

As part of the agreement, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources would have bought the land from Hawaii County in an effort to preserve it. In this case, it was over 300 acres of private property formerly reaching the Waiopae coastline south of Vacationland at Kapoho.

"It no longer makes sense to move forward with the purchase given the dramatic changes in the public benefits we hoped to secure," said Theresa Menard, chairperson of the DLNR's Legacy Land Conservation Commission. "I am saddened by the loss of this special place on the Puna coast."

According to the DLNR, the property's mix of rare, native lowland forests and anchialine pools were among the resources they wanted to preserve. But those resources have now been claimed by lava.

The DLNR notified Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim of the agreement's termination on Friday. The deal, which was called a "Legacy Land Conservation Program Grant Agreement" was made in 2016.

"The Legacy Land Conservation Program is an important and very popular tool to protect critical lands for their natural and cultural values," said  Suzanne Case, Chairperson of the DLNR.

Since 2008, Hawaii County and the DLNR have partnered to complete five county land acquisitions, protecting over 4,000 acres of land.

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