Protecting Maui's Coastal Land and Species: The Tools Used by the Maui Coastal Land Trust

The Maui Coastal Land Trust (MCLT) was established in 2001 with the mission to “preserve and protect the coastal lands of Maui Nui for the benefit of the natural environment and of current and future generations.” This nonprofit organization works with government agencies, private landowners, and community groups to safeguard Maui's shorelines, coastal landscapes, and cultural resources. Since its inception, MCLT has been successful in conserving more than 15,000 acres of land. This exhibition featured a collection of MCLT works directly inspired by a decade of land conservation. The organization was founded by Nielsen, Bradford and de Naie who realized that government agencies couldn't do much to protect Maui's land and decided to create a land trust.

They attended a training conference offered by the National Land Trust Alliance (NLTA) to learn more about how trusts are structured. The MCLT is responsible for facilitating the permanent protection of more than 14,000 acres of land in Maui County from future subdivisions and developments. The land trust office at the Maui headquarters for the new state initiative is filled with talented, experienced, and dedicated individuals such as outreach director Sara Smith, chief operating officer Monica George, and development director Kathleen Buenger. This plan provides a framework for identifying priorities for the conservation of coastal and estuarine lands and defines the process of acquiring such lands. The MCLT works with landowners interested in protecting open spaces and conserving land by acquiring land or conservation easements or assisting them in the acquisition of conservation land or easements. Land trusts often negotiate and use easements that can limit any development potential and specify what can and cannot be done on a property.

Sometimes, land trusts buy land themselves, with the vision of allowing open public access to land. Land trust organizations are also responsible for working with state and private entities, raising funds, and acting with due diligence to manage these protections, carry out inspections, and ensure that the terms of the agreements are met. 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 Kauai Public Land Trust, the Oahu Land Trust, the Maui Coastal Land Trust, and the Island of Hawaii Land Trust are now a single entity, and Maui has been chosen as the headquarters of the new group. This is an example of how MCLT has been successful in protecting Maui's coastal lands from future developments while also providing access to these lands for public use. In conclusion, MCLT has been successful in protecting Maui's coastal lands through various tools such as acquiring land or conservation easements or assisting landowners in acquiring conservation land or easements.

They also work with state and private entities to raise funds for their projects while also providing access to these lands for public use.

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