Kahana families get their leases

The Board of Land and Natural Resources granted leases to six Kahana Valley families today.

Ikaika M Hussey

Five years ago, six Kahana valley families faced imminent eviction; though they were children of those lands, they were unable to secure home loans and long-term leases.

The Independent covered the story in detail as support for the families grew in the public consciousness, leading to a string of remarkable events: protests at public meetings, the involvement of elected officials, support from a princess, an early morning rally on the date of eviction, and an eventual stay of eviction.

Against Hawaii’s modern history of land development which has displaced traditional communities, it’s a story about how will, determination, and community organizing can make a difference. And though the story isn’t pau – it never is – it takes an important twist on Friday, as the Board of Land and Natural Resources considers long-term leases for the six families.

Update: The BLNR approved the leases with minor amendments. According to BLNR staff, the board received an overwhelming amount of testimony in favor of the leases.