Kauleoli fishing village purchase finalized

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The $3.5 million sale of the ancient, 59-acre Kauleoli fishing village south of the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park cleared escrow Thursday, ensuring the area will be preserved in perpetuity.

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The $3.5 million sale of the ancient, 59-acre Kauleoli fishing village south of the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park cleared escrow Thursday, ensuring the area will be preserved in perpetuity.

The land, which will provide public access and protection for the fishing village and accompanying trail, was purchased by the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, a unit of the National Park Service, from the Pace family. Funding was provided by the Water &Land Conservation Fund via the National Rivers &Trails Initiative.

The land connects to the southern boundary of the national park at another ancient fishing village, Kiilae, which was added to the park in 2006 through another purchase assisted by the TPL.

Along with the trail, the purchase will guarantee the preservation of a canoe hale, salt-making ponds and agricultural areas.

“The deeply rooted ohana of Kauleoli and the neighboring ahupuaa drove this purchase to forever protect Kauleoli, and I’m proud that this effort is in line with the descendant-led strategic plan for the trail,” Dennis Hart, President of the Ala Kahakai Trail Association and Kauleoli descendant, said in a press release.

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The legislation that created Ala Kahakai in 2000 also authorized it to make land purchases from willing sellers. Although the organization hadn’t exercised that authority until now, the time was right to protect property near the national park, said Aric Arakaki,superintendent for the trail corridor, told West Hawaii Today in late June.

“The Trail,” a 175-mile network steeped in culture and history, traverses hundreds of Native Hawaiian settlements, cultural sites and wahi pana from the tip of North Kohala to Puna. It is cared for by area descendants as in the days of old, and is administered by the National Park Service. However, the Kauleoli lands will not become part of the national park.

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