Preserving Ka`ā of Lāna`i
Keahiakawelo, also known as “Garden of the Gods” is located on the north end of Lāna`i. It’s a cultural landmark of the island and the starting point for an off road adventure. Ka’ā (translated means “the rocky area”) surrounds the “Garden of the Gods” and takes up most of the north western part of the island. Growing up we would pile into 4x4 trucks to conquer the rocky roadways just for the adventure or camp on the north shore coastline for a weekend getaway of fishing. Unfortunately, the plans of building wind turbines on the north end will overtake the “Garden of the Gods” and other historical sites around the area.
In 2008, Castle & Cooke announced its intentions to build a 400 megawatt (MW) industrial wind power plant on the island and sell all power to O`ahu. The project known as “Big Wind” is a 2008 Lingle administration proposal. According to C&C’s 2008 draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) – a total of 22,000 acres will be used to build up to 170 turbines. That’s a third of the island that will be covered with wind turbines that stand about 140-feet tall and a wing span equal to that of a Boeing 747 (Friends of Lana`i). An undersea cable would be built to transmit all the wind energy to O`ahu. Many in the community are concerned that if the “Big Wind” project goes through, the island will be drastically changed and the way of life may be lost forever.
Some residents are concerned about hunting grounds that will be eliminated if the project goes through. Residents said, “Hunting for mouflon sheep and deer has become more than just a choice of lifestyle and additional food on the table for the scores of hunting families on the island.” Hunting attracts neighbor island visitors to Lāna`i, who stay with local families and help broaden the economic base beyond tourist at the three hotels on the island (Kubota). Hunting is a tradition in my family. We all learned the essentials of hunting growing up. As a little girl I...