In our October 2019 article, “Pohakuloa Ruling Spurs Motion For Reconsideration in Kahala Case,” we reported that 1st Circuit Judge Jeffrey Crabtree was scheduled to hear arguments at the start of the month... READ MORE
A Bombshell Decision
To the surprise of no one who has been paying attention, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court found that the state has ignored its duty to monitor the Army’s use of some 23,000 acres of land that make up the largest part of the Pohakuloa Training Area, in the Saddle area of the Big Island.
What may be surprising is the fact that the court’s decision included a determination that the state’s public trust obligations extend to all ceded lands, not just to land in the state Conservation District and to freshwater resources, as conventional wisdom held.
That finding now opens the door to new claims that mismanagement of state land amounts to a breach of the public trust. The motion for reconsideration of the use of ceded land by the Kahala Resort may be the first of these, but certainly not the last. UPDATE: THE JUDGE HAS DENIED THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION.