Two news stories on recent Makua court ruling

Here are two articles citing the recent court ruling that enjoins the Army from conducting live fire training in Makua until it has completed marine environmental impact studies as required by a 2001 settlement with Malama Makua.   The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported “Army must conduct more studies on live-fire training at Makua” (June 21, 2012).

The AP reported “Judge wants updated Makua Valley studies” (June 22, 2012):

No branch of the military has trained in Makua with live ammunition since 2004, after the Army failed to complete a court-ordered environmental study on the effects of decades of military training. The Army and its opponents have been embroiled in a decade-long legal dispute over how the military may use the valley.

Many Native Hawaiians consider the valley sacred. Others object because the environment includes more than 50 endangered plant and animals. Lawsuits came after the training exercises led to multiple fires in the 4,190-acre Waianae Coast valley.

But this court ruling will not bar all Army training in Makua, and the slow easing out of Makua may be deliberate misdirection from the enormous military (Army and Marine Corps) at Pohakuloa on Hawai’i island:

Army officials say the military branch will abide by the order and use the military reservations in different ways, and decide whether to resume live-fire training once the studies are complete.

“The Army will continue to prepare soldiers through a training regimen that does not employ live fire while studies are completed, the results are analyzed and the appropriate level of National Environmental Policy Act planning is completed,” the Army said in a statement.

Last year, the top Army commander in the Pacific told The Associated Press he would need to keep his options open on Makua in case the construction of new ranges at Schofield Barracks and Pohakuloa Training Area is delayed.

In other words, the Army is holding Makua hostage while it expands on Hawai’i island.


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