Honuaula Public Hearing for Habitat Conservation Plan
By Wendy Osher
A public hearing is planned on Monday, March 4, 2013, for the Draft Habitat Conservation Plan proposed by Honuaula Partners LLC for the project formerly known as Wailea 670.
The hearing will begin 6 p.m. at the Kihei Community Center. The purpose is for the Department of Land and Natural Resources to receive public testimony on the content of the draft HCP.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife received a draft Habitat Conservation Plan from Honuaula Partners LLC, for the incidental take, harassment or harm to the endangered Blackburn’s sphinx moth and Nene.
Honuaula Partners LLC believes such take would occur resulting from construction and operation of a master-planned community, including residential units, commercial spaces, and an 18-hole homeowner’s golf course in South Maui.
“Due to the Honuaula projects potential impacts on endangered species they have applied for an Incidental Take License through the development of a Habitat Conservation Plan which minimizes and mitigates for the incidental take of these species,” said William J. Aila, Jr., Chairperson DLNR in a media statement. “This public meeting is an opportunity for the public to provide feedback to our staff on this Habitat Conservation Plan.”
Under state law, when a non-federal landowner is seeking an incidental take license from the DLNR, the state is required to hold a public hearing on the affected island.
The draft HCP includes measures to avoid, minimize, mitigate, and monitor take of endangered or threatened species occurring as a result of project development and operations. Implementation of avoidance and minimization measures is expected to avoid any negative impacts on five additional endangered species: Hawaiian stilt , Hawaiian duck, Hawaiian coot, Hawaiian petrel, Hawaiian Hoary bat, one threatened species: Newell’s shearwater, and one species that is proposed for listing as endangered, Awikiwiki that are either present at the project site, or could be attracted to the site during or after construction.
A draft document of the Habitat Conservation Plan is available at the following link: http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/Archives/2010s/2013-01-08.pdf.
Public comments should be received by March 8, 2013.
Following the public comment period for this HCP, DOFAW staff and the DLNR Endangered Species Recovery Committee will review the draft HCP and any concerns and provide recommendations to the Board of Land and Natural Resources, per HRS 195D.