HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Army’s 65-year-lease of 23,000 acres of land from the state used for military training on the Big Island will expire in August of 2029.

The Pohakuloa Training Area consists of 132,000 acres of state land and is located between Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Hualalai. For two weeks in the summer, some of those lands are hunting grounds for ewe or bighorn sheep.

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The Army is seeking public comments at two in-person locations to review its draft environmental impact statement (EIS) to gain support for renewing its lease.

According to the Army, the EIS draft evaluates the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of a range of reasonable alternatives.

The alternatives are:

  • full retention (of approximately 23,000 acres)
  • modified retention (of approximately 19,700 acres)
  • minimum retention and access (of approximately 10,100 acres and 11 miles of roads and training trails)
  • no-action alternative (under which the lease lapses and the Army loses access to the land).

The Army has sent the EIS draft to Native Hawaiian organizations, federal, state, and local agencies and officials, state holders, and local libraries to review.

The two in-person public meetings are currently scheduled to take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in two locations:

  • April 25 at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center; 600 ʻImiloa Place, Hilo, HI 96720
  • April 26 at Waimea District Park; Ala Ohia Road, Waimea, HI 96743

For those who cannot make it to the in-person meetings, written comments can be sent to:

  • U.S. Mail: ATLR PTA EIS Comments, P.O. Box 3444, Honolulu, HI 96801-3444 or
  • E-mail: atlr-pta-eis@g70.design.

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To view the EIS draft, click here.