LIHUE — The state wants to expand the Lihue-Koloa Forest Reserve to create better access, and the public has until March 14 to give their take on the plan.
The reserve is split into two sections and the addition of the parcel, nearly 164 acres of unencumbered state land, would create a legal public access to the smaller, landlocked Koloa portion.
“The proposed land addition contains an existing dirt road that traverses much of the parcel, ending very close to the existing forest reserve boundary, and accessible from a public county roadway,” said Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
In addition to the expanded size of the reserve, the state wants to return 1,467 square feet of Agribusiness Development Corp. land that was accidently set aside for a public shooting range at Hanahanapuni Crater when the land was subdivided.
At the same meeting, the BLNR approved a set-aside of about 5,964 acres to ADC for agricultural purposes, which included DOFAW’s 52 acres. Lags in paperwork and approvals caused a discrepancy during the transfer.
DOFAW was advised by Land Survey Office that the best course of action to adjust for this discrepancy would be to withdraw the 1,467 square feet from the forest reserve, followed by a subsequent set-aside to ADC, according to DLNR.
The concept for a public shooting range came from ongoing public requests, according to DOFAW.
“Kauai is the only island that does not have a public shooting range and we have more hunters per capita to amount of land,” said DOFAW Manager Sheri Mann.
DOFAW and DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Hawaii Hunter Education Program are working together to secure funds for planning and development.
Deadline for sending in comments is March 14, and comments can be sent to the Forestry Program Manager, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl St., #325, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.