The Peregrine Gallery
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
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S. Haunani Apoliona, MSW
Chairperson, Board of Trustees
Office of Hawaiian Affairs
For more than 25 years, Haunani Apoliona has dedicated herself to the Native Hawaiian community through her work at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), ALU LIKE, Inc., a variety of civic activities and her music.
After earning her master's degree in social work from the University of Hawai‘i in 1976, she worked briefly in the Third Circuit Court on the island of Hawai‘i. A year later, she returned to O‘ahu, joined ALU LIKE as an Employment and Training Counselor, Community Specialist, O‘ahu Island Center Administrator, Health and Services Program Planner, Director of Programs and eventually President and Chief Executive Officer.
Haunani's employment served as a medium for her civic and broad-based community work. She resigned her ALU LIKE positions after her 1996 election as a Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
In 2000, Haunani was elected to her second four-year term as an OHA Trustee. She has served OHA in various leadership positions and is completing her fourth year as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. In that capacity, she leads OHA in the Board's pursuit of Federal Recognition for Native Hawaiians, formation of a Native Hawaiian governing entity, responding to lawsuits aimed at diminishing Native Hawaiian entitlements, resolving ceded land revenue disputes and a vast array of other programs and services which benefit OHA's Native Hawaiian beneficiaries.
Haunani has served on nearly three dozen boards, committees and commissions, including President's Advisory Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, Queen Lili‘uokalani Children's Center Advisory Board, Queen Emma Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Bank of Hawai‘i Corporation and U.S. Bureau of the Census Race Ethnic Advisory Council (REAC).
Finally, Apoliona is a master slack-key guitarist who has won several Nāa Hōokūu Hanohano awards and composed many songs, including the Hōokūu Award winning ALU LIKE song. She has been a professional entertainer since 1977 and currently performs as a member of Olomana.
July 20, 2006
OHA buys Wao Kele forest land on Big Island
By Rod Thompson, Star-Bulletin
HILO » The Office of Hawaii Affairs has completed the purchase of 25,856 acres of forested land known as Wao Kele O Puna south of Hilo, the agency announced yesterday.
"OHA is acquiring the area to protect the natural and cultural resources on the land, to guarantee that native Hawaiians can continue to exercise traditional and customary activities on the land, and to ensure that OHA can pass it on to a sovereign governing entity," an OHA statement said.
OHA Chairwoman Haunani Apoliona called the purchase a "gifted moment" in increasing the assets of native Hawaiian people. The Hawaiian culture-based Pele Defense Fund asked the Trust for Public Lands to buy the land in February 2005. With $3.35 million of the $3.65 million purchase price supplied by the U.S. Forest Service, the sale to the trust and then to OHA was concluded Friday, OHA announced.
The term "wao kele" refers to the wet, lush middle elevations between the coast and the dry mountain uplands. Although few people lived there in ancient times, coastal dwellers often went upland to collect resources there.
Starting two miles downhill from the present Puu Oo eruption site and stretching another nine miles, Wao Kele O Puna was a site of controversy in the 1980s when a large geothermal energy development was planned in the native ohia forest by True/ Mid-Pacific Geothermal Venture.
Environmentalists and Hawaiians opposed the project, sometimes in demonstrations that resulted in arrests. The Pele Defense Fund sued to halt drilling.
Opponents credited demonstrations and the lawsuit with stopping the project. True/Mid-Pacific said it could not find a usable geothermal resource.
Meanwhile, land ownership shifted. The initially state-owned Wao Kele O Puna lands were traded in 1986 to Campbell Estate. In turn, the state received Campbell's Kahaualea lands immediately uphill.
Advocates of the exchange said it was fair because Kahaualea had better native forest, with fewer invasive non-native plants.
In 1983, eruptions began that covered much of Kahaualea with lava. Preservation of Wao Kele O Puna provides a source of plant and animal life to restore the new lava lands, OHA said.
Read the entire article at...
October 12, 2005
State Seeks More Partnerships
To Save Environment
By Karen Blakeman, Advertiser Staff Writer
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has begun working with other agencies and groups to better protect the environment.
DLNR Director Peter Young announced yesterday that to make the best use of his department's budget — which accounts for less than 1 percent of the state's general fund — his agency has been entering into more partnership arrangements with private entities, environmental agencies and offices at other levels of government.
"It's all our responsibilities to protect our natural and cultural resources," Young said.
In a program praised by Mark Fox of the Nature Conservancy, DLNR is working with 35 private landowners and 18 public agencies to protect the watershed on nearly a million acres, or about a quarter of the entire land area of the state. "We believe this is the model for taking care of our fragile ecological issues," Fox said.
Scott Atkinson, Hawai'i program director for the Community Conservation Network, talked about a program in which his agency, the Nature Conservancy and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund are working with DLNR to create an ecological version of Neighborhood Watch.
Called Makai Watch, the program will or has been implemented in Miloli'i on the Big Island, Pupukea on O'ahu and 'Ahihi-Kina'u on Maui.
Makai Watch members will educate tourists and others on the importance of staying off reefs and away from protected sea creatures and will also report poaching and other misuse of resources.
In a third program, DLNR worked with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Trust for Public Land in an effort to protect Wao Kele O Puna, 25,856 acres on the Big Island that is being transferred to OHA to be conserved.
"Like many government agencies," said Clyde Namu'o, OHA administrator, "we were skeptical of DLNR's progress."
Working with DLNR on Wao Kele O Puna gave him a different impression, he said.
"We feel we've made significant progress working together," he said.
# # #
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Last Updated on May 25, 2007 by The Catbird