Haleakala park gains 4,100 acres in deal
The $3.3 million deal with James Campbell Co. expands the park to 34,294 acres
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Haleakala National Park is expanding in size by more than 13 percent under a $3.3 million deal with the James Campbell Co. that will protect habitats for rare native birds, an endangered moth and the Hawaiian hoary bat.
The park will acquire 4,100 acres along the southern slopes of the dormant volcano through a grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Park officials say the parcel also includes heiau and cultural sites mentioned in ancient Hawaiian chants.
"We're very excited about the restoration of this property," said Park Superintendent Marilyn Parris.
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WAILUKU » One of the largest undeveloped private parcels of land on Maui has become a part of Haleakala National Park.
Some 4,100 acres of James Campbell Co. land along the southern slope of Haleakala have been acquired through $3.3 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The latest acquisition, secured by Hawaii's congressional delegation, expands the park to 34,294 acres.
The ahupuaa land stretches from the southern coast to more than 6,000 feet in elevation, providing a variety of climates and foliage.
Park officials said significant portions of the property contain remnants of a native koa forest along the mountainside to dry wiliwili trees at lower elevations. The forests provides habitat for rare native birds, the endangered Blackburn's sphinx moth and Hawaiian hoary bat.
Park officials said the ahupuaa also includes heiau or temples and cultural sites mentioned in ancient Hawaiian mele or chants.
Park Superintendent Marilyn Parris said she looks forward to beginning restoration projects to bring back native forests.
"We're very excited about the restoration of this property," she said.
Parris said park officials have already begun working with ranchers to remove cattle from the area.
She said officials will also be getting rid of wild goats and developing a strategy for fencing the parcel.
Parris said fire remains a problem, especially in areas with non-native grasses.
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said the acquisition will protect more than half a mile of Maui's precious south coast.
"Together, we have succeeded in protecting an invaluable asset," Inouye said.
Campbell Chief Executive Officer Steve MacMillan said the land is now open for public use and enjoyment for the first time in more than 100 years.
"We are pleased to have been able to play a role in placing this land in the public trust forever," MacMillan said.
The Conservation Fund negotiated the purchase of the property from the Campbell Estate and provided bridge financing support.
Conservation Fund President Larry Selzer said the acquisition will help safeguard wildlife habitat and preserve native Hawaiian cultural resources, as well as enhance public recreation areas.