BLNR 6/10/10 Meeting Minutes Relating to Kulani NARS/DOD

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ltemD-22 Termination of Revocable Permit No. S-6445 to the Kulani
Correctional Facility, Department of Social Services and Housing,
Issuance of Revocable Permit to State of Hawaii, Department of
Defense, Panaewa, Waiakea, South HHo, Hawaii, Tax Map Key: 3″d/
2-4-49: 13 por.
Mr. Atta communicated it was discovered by Land Division that the original revocable
permit (RP) issued to Department of Social Services and Housing (DSSH) was
inappropriate given the different agencies using the area. The use hasn’t changed, but the
appropriate permittee has changed and this action was to correct that discrepancy. Also,
representatives from DSSH and State DOD are here for questions.
Member Pacheco asked for clarification whether Item C-3 is related to this item and Mr. Atta
confirmed that Member Pacheco also asked whether DOD is going to run a youth
program out ofthe old Kulani facilities which will be leased to them and will continue to
use this parcel for support as it was done for Kulani. Mr. Atta said he thinks so, but there
were a lot ofcomments which haven’t been determined.
David Festerling, Deputy Director for Administration for Public Safety testified that
Kulani hasn’t beel). operating since October 2009 and they are under a DOD MOA where
they would use the Correctional Facility for a period of 25 years; however, if the need
arises for a correctional facility they would give DOD a years notice. The item before the
Board is a staging area that the Correctional Facility used where venders and employees
parked their car and be bused up to the Correctional Facility. Public Safety no longer
needs this property for Kulani and that is why they are requesting to terminate the
revocable permit with DSSH and issue it to DOD.
Member Pacheco asked whether the facilities are DPS lands. Chair Thielen explained
that DLNR serves as the Land Bank for the State. Frequently, the land use may be
transferred to a particular agency for a particular purpose. When that ends the land
comes back to the Land Bank or go to another agency for a particular purpose. Also,
they are pairing this with another agenda item regarding the Natural Area Reserve.
Marti Townsend representing KAHEA testified in opposition of the piecemeal transfer of
government lands comparing it to Mauna Kea. She is concerned that DLNR doesn’t have
a long term vision for this property and why there isn’t a plan to remediate it by
incorporating it into the NARS and asked to defer this- decision until there is a
comprehensive plan. Also, that DOD doesn’t have the resources and the implications in
20 years.
Kat Brady testified that she is the Coordinator of Community Alliance on Prisons which
is a community alliance working to improve conditions of confinement, improve the
quality of justice in Hawaii and to promote smart justice policies. She related the issues
and problems with closing Kulani Correctional Facility referring back to a previous
Board meeting item regarding the Army Corps of Engineers. That land is treated like a
commodity and she finds it disturbing that this property is treated piecemeal reiterating
that there is no long term vision. Ms. Brady questioned why go through the transfer
when DOD may not like the assessment the property may transfer back. She had a list of
questions regarding Youth Challenge, facility maintenance plan, conservation activities,
no plan in place, the Legislature and Federal Government hasn’t allocated funds,
archaeological studies, public access and cultural practices. Ms. Brady implored the
Board to ask for the entire plan before issuing anything.
The Board suggested moving to the issue of the adjacent lapds where Chair Thielen
recommended staff present Item C-3 which is for the upper portion of the lands and hold
action on Item D-22 to give a bigger picture to the Board members.
Item C-3 Request to Conduct a Public Hearing Regarding an Extension of Puu
Makaala Natural Reserve, TMK (3) 2-4-008-009 (POR), South Hilo,
Mr. Kermedy conveyed this is for a designation of 166 acres ofconservation land (not the
facility areas) to the Puu Makaala Natural Area Reserve (NAR) which would afford long
term protection of an area of outstanding habitat quality, biodiversity and where
significant management actions have already happened. Over the last 10 years work with
Public Safety through the Tri-Mountain Watershed Partnership and the NARS Program
fenced all of that conservation land. This area is being managed as high a level as any
Natural Area Reserve and because it is maintained as a NARS it should be designated for
the long term as a NARS. He introduced Tanya Rubenstein who for many years was the
Coordinator for the Tri-Mountain Watershed Partnership and was responsible for the
fencing of this area.
Chair Thielen asked staff to go over the map for the Board members. Mr. Kermedy said
that during long term negotiations with Public Safety they wrote a letter in support of this
designation on the condition that DOD potentially could use the facilities are in approval
and the Department of Defense gave them a letter in support along with Land Division
and the NARS Commission where there is a lot of public support.
Member Pacheco asked whether the color coded DOD roads and property is DPS now
which was confirmed by staff. The Department got land from another state agency and
under a legal agreement that was done a long time ago and he asked whether it was
allowed under statute or policy that a state division could take DLNR lands that they
aren’t going to use and give it to another state agency. Chair Thielen said ultimately, it
would come through this Board if that were to change – currently, the entire white parcel
is conservation district use under’DPS. Both DPS and DOD agree that the white portions
on this map, the areas external to the facilities could move forward for discussion to be
placed in the NAR. This is something the NAR Commission and staff would be
interested in taking the white areas and placing it in the NAR. What is before the Board
in Item C-3 is a request to begin that process by taking that out for public hearing and
should that go through a successful process there would have to be a sub-division or
segregation ofthat area from the yellow portions.
It was questioned by Member Pacheco if this goes to public hearings and for whatever
reason this land should be incorporated in the NARS is there language that would prevent
that from happening. Mr. Kennedy answered negatively that it would have to go back to
the NARS Commission because they approved this map and present the next map to them
for consideration.
Member Pacheco asked Ms. Rubenstein whether the facility could be used as a
conservation camp or for school groups or other paid things to generate revenue. She
said that it’s a possibility, but the expense of running the facility is remote and she would
have to defer to DPS because she doesn’t know the operations of the facility.
Member Gon asked what the nature of the transfer of relationship was now that DPS has
phased out of Kulani and he supposed they left the Tri-Mountain partnership and is there
any indication that DOD is entering to be a member of the Tri-Mountain. Ms.
Rubenstein confirmed that DOD has expressed an interest in the Tri-Mountain Alliance
or Partnership and are willing to allow on-going management activities to continue.
Partnership staff and DLNR staff go there regularly to do management actions on the
land and there haven’t been any problems.
It was questioned by Member Pacheco with Kulani shut down and DPS has its land
whether there is no trigger that this land automatically comes back to DLNR and DPS
could keep this land even if they aren’t operating a prison there. Mr. Atta asked this is
the land around the prison area which was confirmed by the Chair. Mr. Atta explained
that all their lands have the provision if the agency is no longer using it for the purpose it
was set aside that it should be returned to DLNR, the Land Bank and for the disposition
based on the Board’s discretion. A cancellation of the Executive Order would do it.
Chair Thielen said any transfer in the disposition ofthe management of these lands would
come back through the Land Board and is under discussion, but in the meantime there has
been a long term interest by the NARS to get these exterior areas for the NAR which is a
separate issue from what will happen to the facilities, with who is going to manage it.
Chair Thielen asked for clarification with the lower property located in the agriculture
sub-zone and not in the conservation zone referring to Item D-22 map. Mr. Atta
confirmed that explaining that this property is a significance distance away from the
Kulani site located in a sub-division along Stainback Highway. He reiterated Mr.
Festerling’s testimony that this is a staging/parking area for Kulani and what is being
proposed is continued use of this site for similar purposes.
Member Pacheco wondered why DOD needs this RP now as opposed to later after other
parts are approved. Lieutenant Colonel Mitsayoshi, Chief Engineer with (State) DOD
testified reiterating the 25 year DOD MOA and why they wanted to immediately move
there was PSD closed operations and someone needs to continuously maintain and
occupy the Kulani site or there will be significant deterioration of operations. Currently
there is personnel rurming the maintenance, security and maintaining access with DLNR.
The long term goal is to open a Youth Challenge Academy scheduled to open in January
2011. The MOA has been in existence for seven months.
Member Pacheco asked if a state agency gives another state agency use of a property it
has to come back to the Board. Chair Thielen explained for the upper area, Kulani site
would have to come back to the Land Board and the two agencies are conferring which
happens frequently when land is no longer used for a particular purpose. There maybe
other land agents interested in the land. There is some consultation to work out some of
the terms and bring that back to the Land Board. There is interest between all the
consulting agencies agreeing that this external area could be considered for a Natural
Area Reserve and to move forward with those public hearings simultaneously to finalize
the consultation about the core facilities. Because the MOA has been signed and State
DOD is helping to manage and maintain that area now there is an interest in transferring
that staging area which is under an RP.
Member Pacheco asked for clarification reiterating the above that eventually the land will
transfer from DPS to DOD with a Board action. Lieutenant Colonel Mitsayoshi
confirmed that was correct noting that the requirement for that MOA is attached to
funding. Withouta certain commitment of the land they would not be able to get Federal
funding to continue to maintain the land and move forward to get the school started by
January. Member Pacheco asked whether that was because the RP doesn’t allow and
can’t operate under the MOA, Mr. Atta explained under the set aside as the managing
agency DPS can enter into agreements with other agencies to do certain things and that is
how DOD can go in there while under DPS management jurisdiction and is allowed to do
things on the land. Revocable Permits are different. They are issued to a specific agency
and there’s no provision allowing for assignment, delegation of duties and you have to
identify the party using it. It is a temporary month-to-month RP which is specific to the
user,! Item D-22 is a housekeeping item because the current RP is issued to an agency
that is not using the property and this action updates the RP with DOD who is using the
Member Pacheco wanted to be clear that the final reassignment will come back to the
Board from DPS to DOD for the conservation area. The Chair said and, when they come
back to the Board after the public hearings if there is support for the white areas on the
map to go into the Natural Area Reserve there has to be a subsequent or demarcation of
the area for the Natural Area Reserve which would have to come before the Board
regardless of who ends up with the yellow area facilities because if it went into the NAR
those portions would fall under the NARS and DLNR. The Lieutenant Colonel said that
DOD is working with DOFAWand Fish and Wildlife to designate the boundaries to
deem areas that qualify to become part of the NARS and directly impact the DOD
operations. They are identifying that to have agreement on both sides. After Member
Pacheco’s inquiry the Lieutenant Colonel explained what is the State DOD – under it are
the main divisions Army National Guard, Air National Guard and State Civil Defense
and attached are the Office ofVeterans Services and the Youth Challenge Academy.
It was asked by Member Morgan how does youth enter the Youth Challenge Academy.
Rick Campbell, Director of the Hawaii National Guard, Youth Challenge Academy
testified relating some background about their program for at-risk-youth in the State of
Hawaii who would not complete their high school tenure which is a volunteer program
funded by State and Federal monies and all employees are State employees. He related
the percentage that graduate, go on to college, enter the work force or go into the
military. The program is currently at Kalaeloa and this will be a second program that will
be run through the Hilo Community School for adults which is a competency based
program to get a GED. Because it has been difficult to enter the workforce due to the
economy many students try for military, but the standards have increased to enter needing
some college education. About 300 apply and about 150 are not accepted. Chair Thielen
related DLNR’s Youth Conservation Corp Program. Mr. Campbell noted that Kulani
offered a lot of vocational training which the competency program fits in – horticulture,
auto shop and woodworking.
Member Pacheco commented that DPS couldn’t afford to run that facility with the budget
and DOD can. Chair Thielen said that would be a future Board item if the underlying
Executive Order is to change it has to come back to the Board. Getting back to Item C-3
which is to begin the public hearing process for the NAR for the white areas in the
conservation district surrounding the facilities and Item 0-22 which is to extinguish the
existing RP and establish a new RP for the staging area down in the sub-division,
agricultural district from DPS to DOD.
Kat Brady came up to testify on Item C-3 apologizing for earlier and said they strongly
support expanding the NARS area that this is a pristine forest that needs to be protected.
Ms. Townsend supports this.
Member Pacheco suggested for the future when there are items that are connected, but
are in two different divisions create a cover letter or something to explain this because
when the public sees this they see two separate things. It would help the Board to discuss
these items in totality which helps the public to understand and to find a way to do that.
Member Gon made a suggestion to place the items in sequence to be discussed which is
before them today. Chair Thielen said when staff did the Recreational Renaissance they
used “H” for Admin and they could do that for connected items.
Member Pacheco commented that he understands the need for maintenance up at Kulani
and moved to approve Item 0-22. Member Morgan seconded it. All voted in approval.
For Item C-3, Member Pacheco moved to approve it. Member Gon seconded it. All
voted in favor.
Chair Thielen commented that area is astounding and suggested the Board members go
up to see it.
Item D-22 Unanimously approved as submitted (Pacheco, Morgan)
Item C-3 Unanimously approved as submitted (Pacheco, Gon)

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