Militarizing Kulani

Governor recently made a unilateral decision to close the Kulani prison on Hawai’i island, a program that is one of the most successful in Hawai’i and has community support. She transferred the land (nearly 7000 acres) to the State of Hawaii Department of Defense.  The prison would be turned into a Youth Challenge military academy, but it is unclear how the rest of the land will be used.  Many fear that the military will expand training in the area, again.  The forest near Kulani is the site of secret chemical and biological weapons experiments in the 1960s.  One person who testified against the transfer of Kulani referred to this history:

From: Maria Alvarez

Date: July 15, 2010 7:35:27 PM HST

To: <>

Subject: Testimony

To: Chairperson:Emma Yuen

From: Tetsuya Yamada

My testimony is against Department of Defense and the Natural Area Reserve System from taking over the “Kulani Correctional Facility Area.

1. This property is rightfully Crown land and should be returned back to the rightful owners.

2. All public land should have full access without any restrictions to hunting, fishing, hiking, herbal gathering and family gatherings.

3. I believe all public land should be protected, but let take a step back into history to the early 1960’s.

a. DLNR gave the DOD the use of thousands of acres below Kulani. Honor Camp. DOD used these areas to test some poisonous gas and its effects on wildlife.

No one knows what type of gas was used. Maybe DLNR knows but no one talked about it. Right MR. Landgraft?

This gas killed all types of wildlife, birds, pigs, rats, mongooses, etc…etc…everything, 100%.

If the wind had change direction, it would have killed all the Kulani inmates, personnel, and people who went to Kulani Craft shop.

b. DLNR permitted DOD to use this property without any public testimony.

This is forest Reserve(Public hunting land). Hunters could also be killed as well as anyone driving on stainback Road.

c. Who is responsible if any one was killed?

d. Where was our elected officials?

e. With the above mentioned facts, who can we trust?


Tetsuya “Grizzly” Yamada. Hilo, Hawaii

July 15, 2010

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