BRING STAKEHOLDERS TOGETHER TO PLAN HONOLUA’S FUTURE
3/6/08 Lahaina News
(The following is an excerpt of testimony submitted on Senate Bill 2817 regarding Honolua Bay.)
I have concerns as to the content of SB 2817 – it forms yet another committee, when there are many public/county/private committees already meeting to form a plan. It would be better to have money set aside toward the eventual purchase of the land. If that is not possible, instead of another committee, bring ALL stakeholders together in a revolutionary way.
There is no outside person/agency that can monitor and take care of public resources better than the people who live there and use those resources – if you give them the chance. The Department of Land & Natural Resources/state cannot be every place, fix everything; they have limited funds, manpower, etc. Communities can be everywhere, all the time; they CAN do it because they care and want to help – if you provide support for us in the legislature. Let the people, the community, form a solution and implement the plan with the help and guidance of those who have done it before; those who can teach the process to create our own community management plan.
Our community is trying to figure out how specifically to “save” Honolua. It is a difficult process that we’ve been involved with at Honolua. This area is very dear to all our hearts. We don’t always agree on what should be done, and we can’t trust those who do not know Honolua to decide the future without ALL of our input. We need your help; we need experienced facilitators, like those from the community conservation network. The state could really make the difference – to bring the community together to create and implement a plan to malama Honolua. The legislature has an opportunity to support our entire community right now by providing an experienced facilitator to bring all (not a handful of) stakeholders together with a goal to “Revitalize the health of the Honolua Ahupua’a through community-based management utilizing Hawaiian values and practices.”
I believe the community’s dedication to save Honolua, whether it be through petitions, beach cleanups or T-shirt sales, shows the commitment on our community’s part. Now we need a willingness from the state to help us move on to the next step. Solutions designed and implemented by those who live here and want to see the health restored.
Mahalo for reading my testimony and for supporting communities.
TAMARA PALTIN, Kahana
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