The Maui Coastal Land Trust (MCLT) is a shining example of a local nonprofit organization that has achieved great things in land conservation. Through the purchase of land and the implementation of conservation easements, MCLT has been able to provide open public access to land and reduce wealth taxes for land-rich but cash-strapped families. In addition, MCLT has partnered with Hawaiʻi Land Trust to place conservation easements on remaining parcels, and with the Kauai Public Land Trust, the Oahu Land Trust, and the Island of Hawaii Land Trust to form a single entity, the Hawaii Islands Land Trust (HILT).HILT has been accredited as a nationally recognized land trust and has protected more than 17,000 acres at 20 different sites. This includes 190 acres of land along the Hāna coast that were purchased and permanently preserved in partnership with Hawai'i Land Trust, the Maui County Open Space Program, and the State Legacy Land Conservation Program (LLCP).MCLT's success is further demonstrated by their collaboration with state and private entities to raise money and do due diligence to manage these protections.
They have also partnered with Ke Ao Hāliʻi to create a native plant seed bank to restore parts of its Waihe'e dune as a nesting habitat for native seabirds. Project director Scott Fisher, land manager James Crowe, and educational coordinator Denby Freeland-Cole often bring groups of volunteers and schoolchildren to visit them, work the land, and learn. The success of MCLT is further highlighted by its merger with three other Hawaiian land trusts to form HILT. This new organization promises to be a stronger and more efficient collective that will ensure a future for the conservation of public and private lands across the state. HILT applauds HRP's conservation ethic and welcomes a wonderful new union with Ke Ao Hāliʻi as the new owner and administrator of these important coastal lands from a cultural and agricultural point of view. The Maui Coastal Land Trust has achieved remarkable success in its mission to protect Hawaii's natural resources.
Through their purchase of land, implementation of conservation easements, partnerships with other organizations, and collaborations with state and private entities, they have been able to preserve more than 17,000 acres at 20 different sites. Their merger with three other Hawaiian land trusts to form HILT is an even greater testament to their success. With this new organization in place, Hawaii's public and private lands are sure to be protected for generations to come.