Sugar Substitutes

Kopili`ula Bridge, East Maui irrigation system


With the announcement of the closure of A&B’s sugar plantation on Maui, the last in the state, the question arises: what is to become of the millions of gallons of water diverted each day to irrigate the crop? The proffered solution – diversified agriculture – will likely be not nearly so thirsty, freeing up a large measure of the water to return to the streams whence it comes.

Yet A&B so far has been unwilling to relinquish control over the majority of the water from East Maui streams, which it continues to divert thanks to a last-ditch effort by the Board of Land and Natural Resources to avoid the difficulties that would result from revoking A&B’s permits to take the water. In our cover story, Teresa Dawson ably takes on the challenge of explaining all this.

Another case in the courts – this one directed at the several companies involved
in efforts to restore a koa forest on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island – is described in an article by Patricia Tummons.

Wrapping up the issue are highlights of recent Land Board action and a summation of the threats to oceanic whitetip sharks, recently proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act.



A correction to our February cover story

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Our February 2016 cover story incorrectly stated that the hearing officer’s recommendations in the East Maui interim instream flow standards (IIFS) contested case hearing was expected early this year, when, in fact, those... READ MORE