Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) helped secure $12.9 million in additional funding for the acquisition of Kaupō Ranch on the south slope of Haleakalā in Maui for the National Park Service.
Kaupō Ranch is a key access point for the popular Kaupō Gap Trail which crosses the crater of Haleakalā National Park.
According to Rep. Case, this funding will help secure 3,018 acres and expand recreational activities and protect important natural resources, watersheds and endangered species.
It’s part of a measure approved by its U.S. House Appropriations Committee and among 12 bills to collectively fund the federal government for fiscal year 2023 (beginning October 1, 2022).
The Domestic Appropriations Bill funds the Department of the Interior, including the National Parks Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, and various independent agencies, including the National Endowments on Arts and the Humanities.
The discretionary funding level is $44.8 billion, an increase of $6.8 billion from the level adopted for fiscal year 2022.
“With the support of my Appropriations Committee, we are on the path to conserving essential land for future generations in Hawai’i, including a major expansion of Haleakalā National Park and the preservation of valuable land in the Kāne Valley. ‘ohe Pali and Maunawili,” Case said.
The invoice also includes the following financing requested and obtained by Case:
- $1.3 million to save over 700 acres in the Maunawili Valley. The proposed forest reserve would be managed by the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife in partnership with local nonprofit organizations seeking to manage the land, engage in sustainable agriculture, and restore cultural sites and lo’i . The Maunawili Forest is not only important for its historical and cultural resources, but is the natural habitat of three species of threatened or endangered Hawaiian damselfish, a forest bird (‘elepaio), and four species of endangered Hawaiian wetland birds.
- $1.8 million to help the State Department of Lands and Natural Resources acquire nearly 1,000 acres in Kāne’ohe, O’ahu. Kāneʻohe Pali lands include freshwater springs, famous waterfalls, at least 11 streams and tributaries, native forest which includes a priority watershed, critical habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species indigenous peoples, the historic banana plantations of Luluku, mountain peaks and other geological formations. .
Case also requested and received funding to deal with the Red Hill crisis, which is in addition to the $1.1 billion included in previous defense appropriations and military construction bills for FY23. “We must seek all possible federal resources from all sources to continue the cleanup, resupply and closure of Red Hill and ensure our drinking water,” Case said. “In this bill, we’ve complemented other efforts by restoring the native forests of the Ko’olau Mountains that help recharge the Pearl Harbor watershed and increase funding for the Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund program. fleeing.”
Concretely, the invoice includes:
- $1.7 million to the State of Hawaii Department of Lands and Natural Resources to conduct forest protection and aquifer reclamation activities in the Pearl Harbor watershed. Protecting and restoring native forests in the Ko’olau Mountains will help preserve clean water supplies and replenish Pearl Harbor’s aquifer.
- $92 million for the Leaking Underground Storage Tanks Trust Fund Program, which includes funding to the Hawaii Department of Health to address Red Hill issues.
- $1.1 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and $1.8 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which funds Hawaii’s regulated water systems for Hawaii’s water infrastructure projects.
Case also endeavored to continue its efforts to preserve Hawaii’s historic sites and institutions. For fiscal year 2023, he secured $250,000 for the historic Bishop Museum to relocate and preserve its world-class ichthyology collection as part of the Save America’s Treasures program.
Case Explained: “The Bishop Museum houses one of the largest collections of coral reef fish in the world, including the most comprehensive representation of specimens and color images of fish from the vast Indo-Pacific region, including Hawai’i and other U.S. territories.. With the effects of climate change expected to devastate coral reef ecosystems in coming decades, the importance of this collection – which emphasizes the discovery and documentation of species new to science – continues to increase.
“The collection is housed in an aging warehouse built in the 1970s and designed to last 10 years, which suffers from serious issues such as a leaky roof and outdated fixtures. Additionally, the collection has completely filled the entire space available on the shelves and struggles to absorb the newly collected material.
The Bishop Museum and Pearl Harbor Watershed projects were requested by Case as member-nominated Community Funding Projects (CPFs) that address key unmet community needs. US House CPF rules require each project to have demonstrated community support, be fully disclosed by the requesting member, and be subject to audit by the independent Government Accountability Office. Case disclosures are here: https://case.house.gov/media/funding-disclosures.htm.
Additional programs and provisions guaranteed by Case in the Domestic Appropriations Bill include:
- $6.8 million for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service bird status activities to meet the urgent needs of critically endangered birds that, due to climate change, are now at risk of extinction. These funds will help save many endemic birds that have been devastated by climate change and avian malaria. The measure also includes language directing funding to the NPS to save endangered forest birds with habitats on park lands.
- $46.7 million for the US Geological Survey’s Biological Threats and Invasive Species Research Program.
- $30.2 million for long-deferred maintenance projects in Hawaii’s National Parks.
- $3.1 billion for NPS core operations, an increase of $323 million.
- $18.8 million for the National Trails System, which will benefit the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
- $34 million, an increase of $4 million, for the US Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program. This includes funding the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which monitors Hawaii’s active volcanoes, assesses their hazards, issues warnings, and advances scientific understanding to reduce the impacts of volcanic eruptions.
- $85.2 million for the US Geological Survey’s Climate Adaptation Science Centers, which includes the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center based at UH Mānoa. These centers provide locally relevant scientific information, tools and techniques to resource managers and communities in Hawai’i in response to our changing climate.
- $3.4 million, an increase of $1.3 million, for the NPS American Indian and Native Hawaiian Art and Culture Grants program.
- Language instructing the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations to expand the federal government’s Native Hawaiian community consultation efforts.
- $58.6 million for the State Historic Preservation Offices, which will help preserve Hawaii’s treasured historic properties.
- $4.7 million for Japanese Containment Site Grants and funding for the newly authorized Amache National Historic Site, which was one of ten incarceration sites established by the War Relocation Authority during World War II for to detain Japanese Americans who were forcibly removed from their West Coast communities. The $1.3 million increase from enacted fiscal 2022 levels will fund projects to tell the stories of Japanese Americans during World War II, including those interned in Hono’uli’uli in Kunia.
- $207 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, a $27 million increase, which benefits the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts as well as arts projects throughout the state.
- $207 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities, an increase of $27 million, which provides funding to the Hawai’i Council on the Humanities, a nonprofit organization that supports public programs in humanities disciplines to help express Hawaii’s unique culture, stories, histories, and people.
The bill is now going through the entire House of Representatives for consideration.
A summary of the funding bill from interior, environmental, and related agency appropriations is available here.