Resource Land Acquisition Plan

Current documents and resources:

Plan V1.5


Section 173A-3, Hawai’i Revised Statutes, establishes requirements for a plan that shall guide the State Board of Land and Natural Resources in acquiring “land having value as a resource to the State” (also known as “resource value land”).  In preparing this plan, the Department of Land and Natural Resources “shall consider any plan relating to the acquisition of such land that has been prepared by any state or county agency.”

Key plans for such consideration, along with resources for related planning information, include:

  • Planning Framework

Hawai‘i State Plan (Chapter 226, Hawai’i Revised Statutes): Establishes overall direction in seven major areas of statewide concern that merit priority attention, and includes State Functional Plans that guide the allocation of resources, in twelve policy areas, for the implementation of state policies adopted by the legislature.  Functional Plans relating to the acquisition of resource value land include Agriculture, Conservation Lands, Historic Preservation, and Recreation.  The Resource Land Acquisition Plan, cast in a functional plan mold, will identify priority issues in the Legacy Land Conservation Program and contain objectives, policies, and implementing actions to address them. 

  • County Land Acquisition Programs

Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Fund (Hawai’i):  The “PONC” Commission submits an annual report to the Mayor that prioritizes land acquisitions nominated through a public process.   The Mayor forwards the report, with comments and recommendations, to the County Council,  which may then adopt a resolution that authorizes a specific acquisition from the priority list, subject to legislated priorities for coastal lands and availability of matching funds.  The Department of Finance implements the resolution, subject to executive discretion for finalizing an authorized transaction.

Open Space, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources, and Scenic Views Preservation Fund (Maui): No associated planning or prioritizing. Grants from this fund are considered by the Budget and Finance Committee and awarded by the County Council.

Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission (Kauai): Develops an annual list of recommended priorities of lands or property entitlements to be acquired or for the funding of projects directly related to the act, and to incorporate a countywide community input process into development of this annual list.

Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund (Honolulu): This commission has developed criteria for prioritizing annual project applications for land acquisition grants from the Clean Water and Natural Lands Fund.

County of Hawai’i

Hawai’i County General Plan (2005): The blueprint that guides long-term development and directs future opportunities related to land use, zoning amendments, and capital expenditures.  The General Plan strives to position Hawai’i Island for economic progress while preserving the environment and strengthening community foundations.  Update in progress.

Community Development Plans (“CDP”):  A CDP is intended to translate broad General Plan Goals, Policies, and Standards into implementation Actions as they apply to a specific geographical regions.  A CDP is also intended to serve as a forum for Community input into land-use, delivery of government services, and any other matters relating to the planning area. A CDP Action Committee serves as steward of the community’s plan through facilitating implementation and recommending plan updates as needed.  Committee members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Hawai’i County Council.

County of Maui

Maui County General Plan: The County’s principal tool for evaluating public and private projects and their impacts on land use, the economy, environment, infrastructure, and cultural resources.  It contains sections covering Population, Land use, the Environment and Cultural Resources.

Community Plans: The Maui County Council has adopted nine community plans that establish goals, objectives, policies, and implementing actions for each district, and include revised land use designations.

Shoreline Access Points Study: Lists specific parcels that have value as shoreline access points in a spreadsheet format.

Pali to Puamana Parkway Project: Aims to realign the Honoapiilani Highway mauka-ward to reduce shoreline erosion and preserve park and open space areas along the corresponding section of the West Maui shoreline. The final plan will include intended acquisitions of parks and open space.

County of Kaua’i

Kaua’i General Plan: Contains policies to guide the future physical development of the county; land regulation amendments; and the review of specific zoning amendment and development applications.  Includes Park Site needs, Land use maps, and Heritage maps.

Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission: Develops an annual list of recommended priorities of lands or property entitlements to be acquired or for the funding of projects directly related to the act, and to incorporate a countywide community input process into development of this annual list.

City and County of Honolulu

O’ahu General Plan: Guides long-term development in the City and County of Honolulu.  Contains sections covering Culture and Recreation, Natural Environment.

Sustainable Communities Plans: The eight Sustainable Communities Plans provide conceptual, long-range visions and policies to guide land use and infrastructure decisions for each region.

Special Area and Neighborhood Master Plans: These plans allow for the identification of the function, organization, and character of specific neighborhoods within a region’s Development or Sustainable Communities plan.

Watershed Management Plans: The Honolulu Board of Water Supply develops Watershed Management Plans for each of the eight areas on O’ahu, with the goal of providing short-, mid-, and long-range guidance for the sustainable management and use of surface and ground water resources.

State Plans (organized by agency)

Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)

Coastal Erosion Management Plan (“COEMAP”): COEMAP seeks to improve the current erosion management in Hawai‘i. Land acquisition is listed as one of the tools for accomplishing this goal.

Shoreline Public Access: This page provides information on the Hawai’i Coastal Zone Management Program including a five year public access enhancement strategy and information on public access to the shoreline.

Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy: In order to be eligible for federal State Wildlife Grants (“SWF”), a state must prepare a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (“CWCS”).  The SWF program provides federal funds for the development and implementation of programs that benefit native wildlife and their habitat.  The CWCS includes information about the distribution and abundance of species of greatest conservation need, and descriptions of the location and condition of key habitats for the identified species.

Forest Legacy Program: Scoring criteria Available in hard copy through DLNR, Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Forest Legacy, Amended Assessment of Needs: Assesses natural resources and land use trends for forested areas statewide.

Hawai’i Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan: Identifies feasible, cost-effective management practices to be implemented by State, Federal, county, nongovernmental, private, and volunteer entities for the environmentally sound prevention and control of aquatic invasive species.

Hawai‘i Forest Bird Recovery Plan (with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service): Revised in 2006, this plan provides individual species accounts and actions needed statewide for the recovery of 21 taxa of forest birds.  In some cases the plan identifies specific land parcels where a particular recovery action is needed.

Hawai’i Statewide Assessment of Forest Conditions and Resource Strategy: Developed to comply with provisions of the Forestry Title of the 2008 Farm Bill (P.L. 110 – 234).  It addresses the themes of conservation of working landscapes, protection of forests from harm, and the enhancement of public benefits associated with trees and forests.

Forest Land Enhancement Program Hawai‘i State Priority Plan: Contains information on State forest resources and management goals and mechanisms.

Historic Preserves Program Plan (1993-Unofficial):  Detailed plan for a preserves program.  Files available at the Historic Preservation Division.

Historic Preservation Library, Bibliography Database: Records of federal, state, and local development plans, permit applications, and land use approvals.  Where historic properties were thought to be probable, inventory surveys were conducted.  Available through the bibliography database at the Historic Preservation Division Library.

State Historic Preservation Plan: dated through 2017 and was created to provide a vision for historic preservation within the State. It serves as a guide for effective decision making, for coordinating historic preservation activities within Hawai‘i, and for communicating statewide historic preservation goals, policies and objectives.

State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (“SCORP”, 2008 Update): Provides the technical basis and planning assumptions for making decisions on State and County programs, County plans, and land use amendments.  An update is required every five years for the state to qualify to receive federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant funds to expand outdoor recreation opportunities statewide (update in progress, visit ).

Strategic Plan for Hawai’i’s Natural Area Reserves System: Aims to clarify the goals for the Natural Area Reserves System from 2008 – 2018.

Water Resource Protection Plan (“WRPP”), Commission on Water Resource Management: The objective of the WRPP is to protect and sustain ground- and surface-water resources, watersheds, and natural stream environments statewide.  The plan is a comprehensive study of occurrence, sustainability, conservation, augmentation, and other resource management measures.

Department of Agriculture (HDOA)

Agricultural Lands of Importance to the State of Hawai’i (“ALISH”): Maps available on the State of Hawai’i Office of Planning GIS website.

Agricultural Water Use and Development Plan  (“AWUDP”):  A component of the State Water Plan, the first two phases of the AWUDP were completed in 2003 and 2004 and focus on the rehabilitation needs of ten state and private irrigation systems, estimate existing water demands, and identify projected diversified agricultural water needs through 2024.  The AWUDP Phase 3 update is currently underway, and will focus on refining estimates of current and future water demands, including assessment of prime agricultural lands and digital mapping of major agricultural water systems.

Incentives for Important Agricultural Lands: Act 183, SLH 2005, provides for lands to be classified as important agricultural lands either through declaratory ruling or through a county mapping process. This report provides some information about the designation process and the incentives proposed to encourage the protection of agricultural lands.

Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT)

Hawai’i Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan (2014 – Final): This federal initiative enables states to permanently protect coastal and estuarine lands by providing matching funds for community-based projects to acquire property from willing sellers. This plan provides a framework for identifying coastal and estuarine land conservation priorities and defines the process for acquiring such lands.

Maps Depicting Patterns of Human Settlement and Agricultural Lands: Maps showing patterns of major land uses across the state including urban, agricultural, rural, and conservation.

Office of Planning

Hawai’i Ocean Resources Management Plan (Coastal Zone Management Program): Represents a significant change in the way we approach natural and cultural resources management in response to public concerns that the existing functional management system is not working effectively.

Global Climate Change Initiatives (Coastal Zone Management Program): This draft document includes a list of agencies and organizations in Hawai’i that are involved in research and responses directed at the impacts of climate change.  

State Legislature/Office of the Auditor

Hawai’i 2050 Sustainability Plan: Through Act 8, SLH 2005, the Legislature created the Hawai’i 2050 Sustainability Task Force to review the existing State Plan and address the planning needs of Hawai’i with a view to year 2050.  According to the Hawai’i 2050 Sustainability Task Force Report, “the Hawai‘i State Plan, the State’s Quality Growth Policy, and the State Functional Plans have now been generally recognized as no longer meeting the 21st century needs of State, county, and private agencies facing multiple issues of sustainability.”  This plan aims to steer the future long-term development of the state in a sustainable direction.

The University of Hawai’i

Climate Change Impacts in Hawai’i (University of Hawai’i Sea Grant College Program): A summary of current scientific knowledge about climate change and its impacts to Hawai’i’s ecosystems and communities, including marine, coastal, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems, built systems, and human health.

Coastal Imagery (University of Hawai’i Coastal Geology Group): Shoreline imagery and information is available for each of the main Hawaiian Islands.

Soils of Hawai’i (University of Hawai’i College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources): Report with descriptions of the soil orders found in the Hawaiian Islands and maps of the soil order locations on each island.

Forage Environment / Vegetative Zones of Hawai’i (University of Hawai’i College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources): Maps that area based on a 1942 description of the various plant zones on the major Hawaiian Islands are deemed relevant as a basic indicator of foraging zones.

Other Plans 

National Climate Assessment: Hawai’i and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands: Summary document detailing the impacts of climate change in Hawai’i and other U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands.

A Framework for Climate Change Adaptation in Hawa’ii: A collaborative report that focuses on strategies for adaptation, developed by the Ocean Resources Management Plan Working Group with assistance from the University of Hawaii’s Center for Island Climate Change Adaptation and Policy.

Strategic Plan for Wetland Conservation in Hawai’i (Pacific Coast Joint Venture): A plan for conserving waterbirds and wetlands, designed to protect, restore, increase, and enhance all types of wetlands, riparian habitats, and associated uplands throughout the Pacific Coast region to benefit birds, fish, and other wildlife.  Protection through acquisition is one of the six major strategies to accomplish this goal.

Hawaiian High Islands Ecoregion Plan (The Nature Conservancy and partner organizations): Web-based biodiversity conservation planning document.

The Trust for Public Land (“TPL”): A nation-wide organization with a regional office in Hawai’i and has five Conservation Initiatives which work to create parks and other places where people can access nature.  This site has an interactive map showing the locations of TPL projects and land acquisitions across the state

A Greenprint for Hawai’i-O’ahu (The Trust for Public Land): Documents a planning process that takes into account both the community’s opinion and land’s special values.

Digital Coast (U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office for Coastal Management): Datasets, tools, and training for application to coastal issues.  Includes current and historical data.

National Assessment of Shoreline Change: Historical Shoreline Change in the Hawaiian Islands (U.S. Geological Survey): Summarizes historical shoreline changes on Kaua’i, O’ahu and Maui because of the potential impacts on natural resources, the economy, and society.  Geospatial data used in the analyses is also available for download.

Islands on the Edge: Housing Development and Other Threats to America’s Pacific and Caribbean Island Forests (U.S. Department of Agriculture): Provides an overview of expected housing density changes and impacts to private forests, including the vulnerability of island forests to development, invasive species, and wildfires.