Aloha kakou! Please distribute the announcement below to the members of your Native Hawaiian organization(s) and others who may be interested. Mahalo!
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 11, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Department is seeking comments on proposed Federal rules that seek to clarify how we review land exchanges involving Hawaiian home lands and amendments to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act proposed by the State of Hawai‘i.
BACKGROUND + DEPARTMENTAL STATEMENT
The health and strength of the Hawaiian Home Land Trust and the beneficiaries is among the top priorities for the U.S. Department of the Interior. We are optimistic that with input from beneficiaries, the Native Hawaiian Community, the State of Hawai‘i and others, that we can put an effective process in place that will serve the beneficiaries on and off the land. The Department seeks to do this by providing clarity about how we review land exchanges and amendments to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, and also providing the State of Hawai‘i and the Department a clear path for how to work together in protecting the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust.
The proposed rules we’re issuing in the coming days seek to clarify the Federal Government’s responsibilities in helping to ensure the management of the Home Lands Trust occurs in a fair, transparent, and sustainable manner.
“The Department of the Interior takes our responsibilities for the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust and its beneficiaries seriously,” said Kris Sarri, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management, and Budget at the U.S. Department of the Interior. “is the Trust is vital to the health and strength of the Native Hawaiian Community, and especially to the beneficiaries who live on the lands or are on the waiting list for a homestead lease. That’s why the Department today is proposing rules for public comment that seek to clarify the process it undertakes to review land exchanges involving Hawaiian home lands and amendments to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act proposed by the State of Hawaii.”
The proposed rules 43 C.F.R. parts 47 & 48 seeks to deal with two specific Departmental responsibilities. They are the Department’s review of (1) proposed land exchanges involving trust lands and (2) amendments (proposed by the State of Hawai‘i) to the HHCA. The processes outlined in both parts 47 & 48 seek to build upon past experiences and success working with beneficiaries and the State (e.g., Statewide consultation efforts between 2007-2012 by the Department to obtain input on potential land exchanges and amendments to the HHCA) to protect the Trust.
Part 47 seeks to clarify for the State and the beneficiaries the Department of the Interior’s land exchange review process when Hawaiian home lands are involved, the documents the Department will use for the review, and the standards to be used in that review.
Seeks to ensure that certain Federal laws are appropriately applied in land exchanges, including: NEPA, National Historic Preservation Act, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).
Seeks to ensure appraisals of properties involved in a Hawaiian Home Lands Trust land exchange meet Federal standards and that all parties can be confident in the results of the appraisals.
Seeks to ensure all land exchanges involving Hawaiian home lands are reviewed with the primary goal of protecting the interest of the Trust and its beneficiaries.
Part 48 seeks to clarify for the State and the beneficiaries the steps the Department will take to review proposed amendments to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and the standards to be used in that review.
By utilizing this rule, everyone can have confidence that our reviews will be fair, in compliance with all applicable Federal laws and completed with the primary goal of protecting the interests of the Trust and its beneficiaries.
The State of Hawai‘i, beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust, the Native Hawaiian Community, and the general public are invited to comment on the proposed rules which will be available for official comment beginning Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at www.regulations.gov
The draft proposed rules are available for review now at http://www.doi.gov/ohr/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&pageid=1158567.
The public comment period for these proposed rules will last 60 days from the date of publication. If the Department ultimately decides to issue a final rule it could be published within six months of the publication of the proposed rules.
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Are you registered on the Department of the Interior’s Native Hawaiian Organization (NHO) Notification List? Register with the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations today. Obtain a sample registration form at www.doi.gov/ohr/nativehawaiians/list.cfm or by contacting the Office below.
The NHO Notification List is used by federal, state, and county agencies, as well as private entities, to consult with Native Hawaiian Organizations pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), and other laws. The Office of Native Hawaiian Relations also distributes Federal notices and information of interest to the NHO Notification List.
Lisa C. Oshiro Suganuma
Office of Native Hawaiian Relations
(808) 792-9555 (direct)
lisa_oshiro_suganuma (at) ios.doi (dot) gov
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (www.doi.gov/ohr)
1849 C Street, NW (MS 3543)
Washington, D.C. 20240
PO Box 50167, Honolulu, HI 96813
300 Ala Moana Boulevard, Room 5-231, Honolulu, HI 96850