|Nickname: The Island of Kanaloa, Kohemalamalama, Hineli'i, and Kahiki Moe|
Landsat satellite image of Kaho‘olawe
Location in the State of Hawaii
|Area||44.59 sq mi (115.5 km2)|
|Area rank||8th largest Hawaiian Island|
|Highest elevation||1,483 ft (452 m)|
|Highest point||Puʻu Moaulanui|
on the crater rim of Lua Makika
|Flower||Hinahina kū kahakai (Heliotropium anomalum var. argenteum)|
|Population||0 (No permanent population)|
Kahoʻolawe (Hawaiian: [kəˈhoʔoˈlɐve] ) anglicized as Kahoolawe ( /,- / ) is the smallest of the eight main volcanic islands in the Hawaiian Islands. Kahoʻolawe is located about seven miles (11 km) southwest of Maui and also southeast of Lānaʻi, and it is 11 mi (18 km) long by 6.0 mi (9.7 km) wide, with a total land area of 44.97 sq mi (116.47 km2). The highest point on Kahoʻolawe is the crater of Lua Makika at the summit of Puʻu Moaulanui, which is about 1,477 feet (450 m) above sea level. Kahoʻolawe is relatively dry (average annual rainfall is less than 65 cm or 26 in) because the island's low elevation fails to generate much orographic precipitation from the northeastern trade winds, and Kahoʻolawe is located in the rain shadow of eastern Maui's 10,023-foot-high (3,055 m) volcano, Haleakalā. More than one quarter of Kahoʻolawe has been eroded down to saprolitic hardpan soil, largely on exposed surfaces near the summit.
Kahoʻolawe has always been sparsely populated, due to its lack of fresh water. During World War II, Kahoʻolawe was used as a training ground and bombing range by the Armed Forces of the United States. After decades of protests, the U.S. Navy ended live-fire training exercises on Kahoʻolawe in 1990, and the whole island was transferred to the jurisdiction of the state of Hawaii in 1994. The Hawaii State Legislature established the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve to restore and to oversee the island and its surrounding waters. Today Kahoʻolawe can be used only for native Hawaiian cultural, spiritual, and subsistence purposes.
The U.S. Census Bureau defines Kahoʻolawe as Block Group 9, Census Tract 303.02 of Maui County, Hawaii. Kahoʻolawe has no permanent residents.
Kahoʻolawe is an extinct shield volcano, which formed during the Pleistocene epoch. Most of the island is covered by basaltic lava flows. A caldera is located in the eastern part of the island. The last volcanic activity on the island occurred about one million years ago.
Kahoʻolawe experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh ).
|Climate data for Kahoʻolawe|
|Record high °F (°C)||89|
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||78.2|
|Average high °F (°C)||73.8|
|Average low °F (°C)||64.9|
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||61.6|
|Record low °F (°C)||59|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.44|
Sometime around the year 1000, Kahoʻolawe was settled by Polynesians, and small, temporary fishing communities were established along the coast. Some inland areas were cultivated. Puʻu Moiwi, a remnant cinder cone, is the location of the second-largest basalt quarry in Hawaiʻi, and this was mined for use in stone tools such as koʻi (adzes). Originally a dry forest environment with intermittent streams, the land changed to an open savanna of grassland and trees when inhabitants cleared vegetation for firewood and agriculture. Hawaiians built stone platforms for religious ceremonies, set rocks upright as shrines for successful fishing trips, and carved petroglyphs, or drawings, into the flat surfaces of rocks. These indicators of an earlier time can still be found on Kahoʻolawe.
While it is not known how many people inhabited Kahoʻolawe, the lack of freshwater probably limited the population to a few hundred people. As many as 120 people might have once lived at Hakioawa, the largest settlement, which was located at the northeastern end of the island—facing Maui.
|U.S. Decennial Census; 1832, 1836, & 1866 Hawaiian Censuses|
Source: Manoa Library
Violent wars among competing aliʻi (chiefs) laid waste to the land and led to a decline in the population. During the 18th century War of Kamokuhi, Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the ruler of the Big Island of Hawaii, raided and pillaged Kahoʻolawe in an unsuccessful attempt to take Maui from Kahekili II, the King of Maui.
From 1778 to the early 19th century, observers on passing ships reported that Kahoʻolawe was uninhabited and barren, destitute of both water and wood.
After the arrival of missionaries from New England, the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi under the rule of King Kamehameha III replaced the death penalty with exile, and Kahoʻolawe became a men's penal colony sometime around 1830. Food and water were scarce, some prisoners reportedly starved, and some of them swam across the channel to Maui to find food. The law making the island a penal colony was repealed in 1853.
A survey of Kahoʻolawe in 1857 reported about 50 residents here, about 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) of land covered with shrubs, and a patch of sugarcane growth. Along the shore, tobacco, pineapple, gourds, pili grass, and scrub trees grew. Beginning in 1858, the Hawaiian government leased Kahoʻolawe to a series of ranching ventures. Some of these proved to be more successful than others, but the lack of freshwater was an unrelenting hindrance. Through the next 80 years, the landscape changed dramatically, with drought and uncontrolled overgrazing denuding much of the island. Strong trade winds blew away most of the topsoil, leaving behind red hardpan dirt.
From 1910 to 1918, the Territory of Hawaii designated Kahoʻolawe as a forest reserve in the hope of restoring the island through a revegetation and livestock removal program. This program failed, and leases again became available. In 1918, the rancher Angus MacPhee of Wyoming, with the help of the landowner Harry Baldwin of Maui, leased the island for 21 years, intending to build a cattle ranch there. By 1932, the ranching operation was enjoying moderate success. After heavy rains, native grasses and flowering plants would sprout, but droughts always returned. In 1941, MacPhee subletted part of the island to the U.S. Army. Later that year, because of continuing drought, MacPhee removed his cattle from the island.
On December 7, 1941, after the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor and Oahu, the U.S. Army declared martial law throughout Hawaii, and it used Kahoʻolawe as a place to train American soldiers and Marines headed west to engage in the War in the Pacific. The use of Kahoʻolawe as a bombing range was believed to be critical, since the United States was executing a new type of war in the Pacific Islands. Their success depended on accurate naval gunfire support that suppressed or destroyed enemy positions as U.S. Marines and soldiers struggled to get ashore. Thousands of soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and coastguardsmen prepared on Kahoʻolawe for the brutal and costly assaults on islands such as the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, the Marianas and Pelileu, New Guinea, et cetera, in the Western Pacific.[ citation needed ]
Military and naval training on Kahoʻolawe continued following World War II. During the Korean War, warplanes from aircraft carriers played a critical role in attacking enemy airfields, convoys, and troop staging areas. Mock-ups of airfields, military camps, and vehicles were constructed on Kahoʻolawe, and while pilots were preparing for war at Barbers Point Naval Air Station on Oʻahu, they practiced spotting and hitting the mock-ups at Kahoʻolawe. Similar training took place throughout the Cold War and during the War in Vietnam, with mock-ups of aircraft, radar installations, gun mounts, and surface-to-air missile sites being placed across this island for pilots and bombardiers to use in their training.
In early 1965, the U.S. Navy conducted Operation Sailor Hat to determine the blast resistance of ships. Three tests off the coast of Kahoʻolawe subjected the island and a target ship to massive explosions, with 500 tons of conventional TNT detonated on the island near the target ship USS Atlanta (CL-104). This warship was damaged, but she was not sunk. The blasts created a crater on the island known as "Sailor Man's Cap" and they might have cracked the island's caprock, causing some groundwater to be lost into the ocean.
In 1976, a group of individuals calling themselves the Protect Kahoʻolawe ʻOhana (PKO) filed suit in U.S. Federal Court to stop the Navy's use of Kahoʻolawe for bombardment training, to require compliance with a number of new environmental laws and to ensure protection of cultural resources on the island. In 1977, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii allowed the Navy's use of this island to continue, but the Court directed the Navy to prepare an environmental impact statement and to complete an inventory of historic sites on the island.
The effort to regain Kaho‘olawe from the U.S. Navy began as a new wave of political awareness and activism was inspired within the Hawaiian community.Charles Maxwell and other community leaders began to plan a coordinated effort to land on the island, which was still under Navy control. The effort for the "first landing" began in Waikapu (Maui) on January 5, 1976. Over 50 people from across the Hawaiian islands, including a range of cultural leaders, gathered on Maui with the goal of "invading" Kahoʻolawe on January 6, 1976. The date was selected because of its association with the United States' bicentennial anniversary.
As the larger group headed towards the island, they were intercepted by military craft. "The Kaho‘olawe Nine" continued and successfully landed on the island. They were Walter Ritte, Emmett Aluli, George Helm, Gail Kawaipuna Prejean, Stephen K. Morse, Kimo Aluli, Ellen Miles, Ian Lind, and Karla Villalba of the Puyallup/Muckleshoot tribe (Washington State).The effort to retake Kaho‘olawe would eventually claim the lives of George Helm and Kimo Mitchell. In an effort to reach Kaho‘olawe, Helm and Mitchell (who were also accompanied by Billy Mitchell, no relation) ran into severe weather and were unable to reach the island. Despite extensive rescue and recovery efforts, they were never recovered. Ritte became a leader in the Hawaiian community, coordinating community efforts including for water rights, opposition to land development, and the protection of marine animals and ocean resources.
Kahoʻolawe Island Archeological District
|NRHP reference No.||81000205|
|Added to NRHP||March 18, 1981|
On March 18, 1981, the entire island of Kahoʻolawe was added to the National Register of Historic Places. At that time, the Kahoʻolawe Archaeological District was noted to contain 544 recorded archaeological or historic sites and over 2,000 individual features. As part of the soil conservation efforts, Mike Ruppe, an Army Specialist on loan from Schofield Barracks, plus other military personnel, laid lines of explosives, detonating them to break the hardpan so that seedling trees could be planted. Used car tires were taken to Kahoʻolawe and placed in miles of deep gullies to slow the washing of red soil from the barren uplands to the surrounding shores. Ordnance and scrap metal was picked up by hand and then transported by large trucks to a collection site.
In 1990, President George H. W. Bush ordered an end to live-fire training on the island. The U.S. Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1991 established the Kahoʻolawe Island Conveyance Commission to recommend terms and conditions for the conveyance of Kahoʻolawe from the U.S. government to the state of Hawaii.
In 1993, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii sponsored Title X of the Fiscal Year 1994 for the Department of Defense appropriation bill, directing that the U.S. government to convey Kahoʻolawe and its surrounding waters to the state of Hawaii. Title X also established the objective of a "clearance or removal of unexploded ordnance (UXO)" and the environmental restoration of the island, to provide "meaningful safe use of the island for appropriate cultural, historical, archaeological, and educational purposes, as determined by the State of Hawaii."In turn, the Legislature of Hawaii created the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission to exercise policy and management oversight of the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve. As directed by Title X and in accordance with a required memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Navy and the state of Hawaii, the Navy transferred the title to the land of Kahoʻolawe to the state of Hawaii on May 9, 1994.
As required by Title X, the U.S. Navy retained access control to the island until the clearance and environmental restoration projects were completed, or until November 11, 2003, whichever came first. The state agreed to prepare a use plan for Kahoʻolawe and the Navy agreed to develop a cleanup plan based on that use plan and to implement that plan to the extent Congress provided funds for that purpose.
In July 1997, the Navy awarded a contract to the Parsons/UXB Joint Venture to clear unexploded ordnance from the island to the extent funds were provided by Congress.After the state and public review of the Navy cleanup plan, Parsons/UXB began their work on the island in November 1998.
From 1998 to 2003, the U.S. Navy executed a large-scale, but limited[ clarification needed ], removal of unexploded ordnance and other environmental hazards from Kahoʻolawe. Since the clearance did not completely remove all the hazardous and dangerous materials from the island, a residual level of danger remains. The Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission developed a plan to manage the residual risk to reserve users and to carry out a safety program, and to establish stewardship organizations to work in conjunction with the commission.
In 2020, a wildfire burned more than 30% of the island. Firefighters abandoned suppression efforts on the first day of the fire due to fears about unexploded ordinance.
In 1993, the Hawaiian State Legislature established the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve, consisting of "the entire island and its surrounding ocean waters in a two mile (three km) radius from the shore". By state law, Kahoʻolawe and its waters can be used only for Native Hawaiian cultural, spiritual, and subsistence purposes; fishing; environmental restoration; historic preservation; and education. All commercial uses are prohibited.
The legislature also created the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission to manage the reserve while it is held in trust for a future Native Hawaiian sovereign entity. ʻaʻaliʻi ( Dodonaea viscosa ), ʻāheahea ( Chenopodium oahuense ), kuluʻī ( Nototrichium sandwicense ), Achyranthes splendens , ʻūlei ( Osteomeles anthyllidifolia ), kāmanomano (Cenchrus agrimonioides var. agrimonioides), koaiʻa ( Acacia koaia ), and alaheʻe ( Psydrax odorata ).The restoration of Kahoʻolawe will require a strategy to control erosion, re-establish vegetation, recharge the water table, and gradually replace alien plants with native species. Plans will include methods for damming gullies and reducing rainwater runoff. In some areas, non-native plants will temporarily stabilize soils before planting of permanent native species. Species used for revegetation include
In July 2015, a Business Plan for the Restoration of Hawaiian Bird Life and Native Ecosystems on Kaho‘olawe was proposed in partnership with KIRC, Island Conservation, DLNR, The Nature Conservancy, Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana, HDOA, American Bird Conservancy, and USFWS. The plan outlines the restoration of Kaho‘olawe Island through the removal of feral cats (Felis catus), rats (Rattus exulans) and mice (Mus musculus). The document investigates and addresses the biological, cultural, financial, and regulatory implications associated with the eradication.
Traditionally, Kahoʻolawe has been an ahupuaʻa of Honuaʻula,one of the twelve moku of the island (mokupuni) of Maui, and was subdivided into twelve ʻili that were later combined to eight. The eight ʻili are listed below, in counterclockwise sequence, and original area figures in acres, starting in the northeast:
The boundaries of all but the two westernmost ʻili converge on the crater rim of Lua Makika, but do not include it. The crater area of Lua Makika is not considered an ʻili and does not belong to any ʻili.
According to other sources, the island was subdivided into 16 ahupuaʻa that belonged to three moku, namely Kona, Ko’olau and Molokini.
The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles (1,883 km2) and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the State of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County's four islands, which include Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and unpopulated Kahoʻolawe. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444, third-highest of the Hawaiian Islands, behind that of Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island. Kahului is the largest census-designated place (CDP) on the island with a population of 26,337 as of 2010, and is the commercial and financial hub of the island. Wailuku is the seat of Maui County and is the third-largest CDP as of 2010. Other significant places include Kīhei, Lahaina, Makawao, Pukalani, Pāʻia, Kula, Haʻikū, and Hāna.
Kanaloa kahoolawensis, the Ka palupalu o Kanaloa or kohe malama malama o kanaloa, is a species of flowering plant in the legume family, Fabaceae and is endemic to Hawaii. Kanaloa is a monotypic genus with the single species K. kahoolawensis.
The flag of Hawaii has previously been used by the kingdom, protectorate, republic, and territory of Hawaii. It is the only US state flag to include a foreign country's national flag. The inclusion of the Union Jack of the United Kingdom is a mark of the British Empire's historical relations with the Hawaiian Kingdom, particularly with King Kamehameha I.
In the U.S. state of Hawaii, the Hawaiian sovereignty movement is a grassroots political and cultural campaign to establish an autonomous or independent nation or kingdom for Hawaiians of whole or part Native Hawaiian ancestry, due to their desire for sovereignty, self-determination, and self-governance. Some groups also advocate for some form of redress from the United States for the 1893 overthrow of Queen Lili'uokalani, and for what is described as a prolonged military occupation beginning with the 1898 annexation. The movement generally views both the overthrow and annexation as illegal. Palmyra Island and the Stewart Islands were annexed by the Kingdom in the 1860s and are regarded by the movement as being under illegal occupation along with the Hawaiian Islands. The Apology Resolution passed by the United States Congress in 1993 acknowledged that the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 was an illegal act.
Ahupuaʻa is a Hawaiian term for a large traditional socioeconomic, geologic, and climatic subdivision of land.
Hāmākua is a district on the northeast coast of Hawaiʻi's Big Island, administered by the County of Hawaiʻi in the state of Hawaiʻi. It is also the name given for the coastline in the region, the "Hāmākua Coast".
This is a list of properties and historic districts in Hawaii listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 340 listings appear on all but one of Hawaii's main islands and the Northwestern Islands, and in all of its five counties. Included are houses, schools, archeological sites, ships, shipwrecks and various other types of listings. These properties and districts are listed by island, beginning at the northwestern end of the chain.
Aloha ʻĀina, which literally means "love of the land", is a central idea of Native Hawaiian thought, cosmology and culture. Aloha ʻāina brings a perspective that pervades many aspects of life. Its ecological and cultural orientations are founded upon a sense of being connected to all living things.This mutuality between all things exists on many levels: spiritual, social, and the scientific.
George Jarrett Helm, Jr. was a Native Hawaiian activist and musician from Kalamaʻula, Molokaʻi, Hawaii. He graduated from St. Louis High School on Oʻahu, about which he said, "I came to Honolulu to get educated. Instead I lost my innocence." While at St. Louis, he studied under Hawaiian cultural expert John Keola Lake, and Kahauanu Lake. George achieved mastery in vocal performance and guitar.
The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is a part of the Hawaiʻi state government dedicated to managing, administering, and excerising control over public lands, water resources and streams, ocean waters, coastal areas, minerals, and other natural resources of the state of Hawaiʻi. The mission of the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources is to "enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaiʻi's unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of the people of Hawaiʻi nei, and its visitors, in partnership with others from the public and private sectors." The organization oversees over 1.3 million acres of land, beaches, and coastal waters and 750 miles of coastal land.
The Hawaiian hoary bat, also known as ʻōpeʻapeʻa, is a subspecies of the mainland hoary bat , and is endemic to the islands of Hawaiʻi. Three subspecies of L. cinereus are currently recognized: L. c. Cinereus in North and Central America, L.c. villosissimus in South America, and L. c. semotus in the Hawaiian Islands. Whereas the mainland hoary bat is found throughout North and South America, the Hawaiian hoary bat is distributed only among the major volcanic islands of Hawaiʻi, making it the only extant and native terrestrial mammal in the state. The Hawaiian hoary bat was officially named the state land mammal of Hawaiʻi in 2015. It is a federally listed endangered taxon of the United States.
The ʻApapane is a species of Hawaiian honeycreeper that is endemic to Hawaii. They live on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui, Lānaʻi, Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi and Oʻahu.
Rene Sylva was a native Hawaiian botanist from Paia, Hawaii. He was among the only native Hawaiian fishermen to speak in favor of a ban on fishing green sea turtles. After giving up a career in turtle fishing, he became involved in the conservation of native Hawaiian ecosystems. He assisted renowned botanists Otto Degener and Dr. Harold St. John in surveying remote regions of the Hawaiian Islands for native plants.
Heliotropium anomalum is a species of flowering shrub in the borage family, Boraginaceae, that is native to the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, Christmas Island, Saipan, Tinian, Wake Island and New Caledonia. Common names include Polynesian heliotrope, Pacific heliotrope, Scrub heliotrope and hinahina kū kahakai (Hawaiian). H. a. var. argenteum is the official flower of the island Kahoʻolawe in Hawaii.
Molokini is a crescent-shaped, partially submerged volcanic crater which forms a small, uninhabited islet located in ʻAlalākeiki Channel between the islands of Maui and Kahoʻolawe, within Maui County in Hawaiʻi. It is the remains of one of the seven Pleistocene epoch volcanoes that formed the prehistoric Maui Nui island, during the Quaternary Period of the Cenozoic Era.
Walter Ritte Jr. is a Native Hawaiian activist and educator from Ho‘olehua, Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i. He began his activism as one of the "Kaho‘olawe Nine," a group of activists who were the first to land on the island of Kaho‘olawe in January 1976 in opposition to the military bombing that was then taking place on the island. Other occupations took place and Ritte, along with Richard Sawyer, occupied and stayed hidden on the island for 35 days, an act which led to his arrest and brief imprisonment. The island was eventually returned to the State of Hawai‘i.
Solomon P. Kaho'ohalahala is an American politician from the state of Hawaii. He served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 1999 to 2000 and from 2003 to 2005. In 2005 he resigned his seat to become Director of the Kaho'olawe Island Reserve Commission, serving until 2008. He previously served on the Maui County Council from 1994 to 1998, representing the Lanai City district.
Portulaca molokiniensis, known also as 'ihi, is a succulent plant endemic to Hawaii. This plant is federally listed as an endangered species. It has small yellow flowers and when grown from seed may produce a caudex. This plant is easy to propagate.
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