In the early '70s, there was talk of building a boat harbor at Honolua Bay. I made sure I was at every meeting with a group of surfers to voice our opposition. One person at the meetings was Colin Cameron, who owned Maui Land and Pine (which owns the land at Lipoa Point) at the time. He was in favor of turning the bay into a marine life conservation district. This meant that no one could mess with the reef, so we joined forces with him. Colin was happy with us and allowed the surfers to use Field Road 53, the current access road for surfers.
Over the years, many different plans were proposed for Lipoa Point. One plan was to build house lots on the point, but that didn’t fly with the public. The next plan was to build a golf course on Lipoa. That's when the Save Honolua Coalition was born and their collective outcry got MLP to withdraw the plans. The county, the company and the community worked on a plan to make a Lipoa Land Trust. This was also rejected and we were back to square one. Maui Land and Pine still sought to sell the land for commercial use.
Many battles later, in the fall of 2012, I called West Maui State Representative Angus Mckelvey and asked for his help. After a few lunches with Angus, Ryan Churchill of Maui Land and Pine, John Carty of Save Honolua, and representatives from the Hawaiian Island Land Trust, Angus went back and crafted Hawaii Bill 1424, asking the state to buy the property. The Save Honolua Coalition spearheaded the community testimony and the bill continued to make it through one committee after another and passed final reading on Tuesday. Now the governor just has to sign it. We still have to get a phase one environmental study, but this is as close as we have ever been to saving Honolua. —Les Potts, Maui
We now invite you to celebrate the salvation. All photos and captions: DoomaPhoto