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Governor Abercrombie Set To Sign The South Kona Wilderness Bill Tomorrow

Media Release:

Governor Neil Abercrombie is scheduled to sign legislation tomorrow that will create a permanent wilderness area on State land in the South Kona region of the Big Island. SB1154 authored by Hawai’i Island State Senator Gilbert Kahele will ensure the South Kona wilderness area,”rich with cultural, biological, and historical significance, remains in perpetuity for the future generations of Hawai‘i’s people”.

Senator Gilbert Kahele

Senator Gilbert Kahele

The legislation provides a mechanism to address both the community’s interests in utilizing the area for recreational purposes and protecting the vast amounts of archaeological sites, native plants, and native animals that exist in the preserve.The lands included in the wilderness reserve area are at Honomalino and Okoe from the shoreline to 6000 feet inland and the Manuka Natural Area Reserve boundary extended to the shoreline at Manuka and Kalanamauna. The bill will prevent sub-divison of the State owned land and will also prevent construction of new homes or structures within 1000 feet of the shoreline. Unlike an earlier bill which was signed by the previous administration into law, SB1154 has no “sunset” clause and will remain a permanent wilderness preserve for future generations. Earlier this month Senator Kahele led an archaeological hike and tour of the South Kona Wilderness Area with 75 participants of the 2011 Miloli’i Lawai’a ‘Ohana Camp. The hike began in Miloli’i and ended at the ancient Holua Slide. To view pictures of the walk and see some of the area and historic sites that the South Kona Wilderness Bill will protect for future generations of Hawai’i’s keiki visit this link: http://ow.ly/5ulSv