U.S. Army helps protect North Shore

| October 30, 2015 | 0 Comments
Courtesy of Amber Mozo.

The U.S. Army, in addition to several government agencies, helped purchase undeveloped land on the North Shore to ensure it remains undeveloped. The Army was able to contribute $2.5 million using funding from the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program. (Courtesy of Amber Mozo)

Christine Cabalo
Contributing Writer

The U.S. Army is flexing its financial muscles to ensure undeveloped lands on the North Shore coastline remain untouched for future generations.

A total of $2.5 million from the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program (ACUB) helped purchase the land in its natural state.

Other agencies, including the City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii, contributed to the $45 million needed to buy more than 600 acres of land surrounding Turtle Bay Resort.

Courtesy of Amber Mozo.

The U.S. Army, in addition to several government agencies, helped purchase undeveloped land on the North Shore to ensure it remains undeveloped. The Army was able to contribute $2.5 million using funding from the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program. (Courtesy of Amber Mozo)

“For the Army, these kinds of partnerships are a necessity,” said Col. Richard Fromm, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, after the purchase became official Oct. 26. “We have to preserve our Soldiers’ ability to train, and ACUB projects allow us to do that in a way that benefits the community and the military.”

The undeveloped land is located near the Army’s Kahuku Training Area (KTA), which qualified it for buffer program funds. KTA is the Army’s largest training area on Oahu and is used by all of the military services for various ground and aviation training.

The now-preserved strip of land stretches more than four miles from Kawela Bay to Kahuku Point. Movie and TV lovers may recognize the parts of the area from the hit series “Lost” or as the “Hunger Games’” deadly clockwork arena featured in “Catching Fire.”

This is the Army’s sixth successful ACUB effort in Hawaii. Working with the Trust for Public Lands, the Army has contributed more than $17.3 million to preserve more than 12,600 acres of Oahu.

Courtesy of John Bilderback.

The Kahuku/Turtle Bay area is home to monk seals, sea turtles and other wildlife. (Courtesy of John Bilderback)

Other areas on the island that benefit from the program include the Waianae Mountain Range and the Kamana Nui and Kamana Iki valleys in the Moanalua neighborhood.

“We’re helping keep the countryside undeveloped, which is a double win,” Fromm said. “It’s a good thing for the community because we all can continue to enjoy the green space, and it’s a good thing for the military because it prevents urban development near one of our training ranges.”

Many of Hawaii’s leaders agree.

U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined others in thanking the Army and agencies involved, in a news release from the Hawaii Governor’s Office. Hirono emphasized that the land deal “reinforces the value of public-private partnerships coming together to find meaningful solutions that benefit the community.”

Previous commercial plans for the land included creating luxury hotels and resort residences that neighbors in the area have protested against.

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz said the agreement is a victory for the community that has “fought for so long and so hard to ‘keep the country country.’”

“This agreement ensures the availability of healthy coastline that is home to monk seals, sea turtles, whales and other fish and wildlife unique to our state,” he said. “It also provides community access to the area so that it can be enjoyed for generations.”

Future plans for the area include a 4.9-acre site that will be dedicated as a public park for residents and visitors to enjoy.

More Online

For more information on ACUB, visit these sites:

ACUB in Hawaii (Completed projects):

•Waimea Valley

    • Army contributed $3.5M (total purchase price=$14.1M)
    • June 2006
    • 1,875 acres

Moanalua Valley (Kamana Nui and Kamana Iki Valleys)

    • Army contributed $900,000 (total purchase price=$5.5M)
    • March 2007
    • 3,716 acres
  • Pupukea-Paumalu coastal bluff
    • Army contributed approx. $3.3M (total purchase price approx.=$7.9)
    • June 2007
    • 1,129 acres
  • Honouliuli Preserve
    • Army contributed approximately $2.6M (total purchase price=$4.3M)
    • March 2010
    • 3,592 acres
  • Galbraith Estates
    • Army contributed approximately $4.5M (total purchase price=$25M)
    • December 2012
    • 1,732 acres
  • Kawela Bay/Turtle Bay (Makai)
    • Army contributed approximately $2.5M (total purchase price=$45M)
    • October 2015
    • 635 acres

Utilizing ACUB, the Army in Hawaii has contributed more than $17.3 million to preserve more than 12,679 acres of land on Oahu. 

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Category: Community Relations, Leadership, News, Sustainability, Training

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