Makua Valley hearings action alert

DMZ-Hawai‘i / Aloha ‘Aina ACTION ALERT!

URGENT ACTION ALERT TO PROTECT MAKUA VALLEY: Army Threatens to Expand Live-Fire Training 

The Army plans to expend over two million munitions annually - further destroying the beautiful and sacred Makua valley during their proposed 242/365 days of war games. These munitions include the most threatening illumination munitions, 120mm HE mortars, 155mm HE howitzers, inert TOW missiles and 2.75 caliber rockets, some of which will be launched from helicopters, and all of which the Army admits will increase chances of wildfire and "physical damage and loss of mana for the Native Hawaiian culture" (SEIS 4-199).  

• The devastating impacts of wildfire caused by Army war games are unacceptable.
• Any further desecration of our sacred sites is unacceptable. 
• Limiting access to the valley is not acceptable.

It is time to demand that the Army clean up Makua and return the valley to the people.

Hearing details from Oct. 6-9 and background info below the fold...


For three decades, the Hawaiian movement for aloha ‘âina has worked to protect Makua valley from the US military. We have been successful, and in the process, have won important religious and cultural access rights, and have temporarily stopped training in the valley. The military wants to reverse these advances, though, by returning the violence of live-fire training to Makua. 

We are asking for everyone who loves Makua, and who loves our home of Hawaii, to please come to these hearings. The legal process is flawed – yes. But showing opposition to the re-militarization of Makua is important!

So please do come, and be bold and bright. If you need a ride, send an email to – we'll coordinate a carpool from Honolulu and the Koolau side.


Makua is a valley on the west side of O’ahu that is sacred to Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) and the location of extensive cultural sites and endangered native ecosystems. The U.S. military began using Makua for live fire training in the 1920s. In 1942, the Army seized the entire valley, evicted the residents and transformed the once fertile valley into a land of orphaned families, unexploded bombs, fires and toxic chemicals.

In 1976, soon after the first boatload of Kanaka Maoli activists landed on Kaho’olawe to protest the Navy bombing of that sacred island, the demonstrations spread to Makua to demand an end to the bombing of Makua. The struggle to free Makua has continued ever since.

In 1992, the Wai’anae community resisted and defeated an Army proposal to expand open pit disposal of old munitions in Makua. This was the birth of the group Malama Makua. In 1998 Malama Makua sued the Army for failing to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for all of its destructive activities in Makua. After resisting doing an EIS for years, the Army finally agreed in 2001 to conduct a full EIS. Because the Army failed to meet agreed upon deadlines for completing its EIS, live fire training in Makua has been suspended for more than three years.  

On September 19, 2008, the Army released a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for training in Makua valley. The 45 day public comment period for this DSEIS ends November 3, 2008. Four public meetings have been scheduled on O’ahu and Hawai’i Island. This SEIS is the Army’s last hurdle before it would be able to resume training.  

What the DSEIS says:

The DSEIS in an enormous document, more than 900 pages. The size of the document reflects the many concerns raised by the community over the years. The DSEIS confirms what the community has been concerned about for years - that Army training in Makua has had and will continue to worsen serious and unmitigable environmental, cultural and social impacts. And yet the Army proposes to expand its training footprint and activities significantly.  

More than 300 fires over the last twelve years, the last catastrophic fire in 2003 destroyed more than 2000 acres and killed several populations of endangered plants. Yet the DSEIS admits that devastation from wildfires will be even more likely due to the Army's plan to increase training to 242 days of war games every year with munitions known to cause wildfires. The document even mentions that training will occur all year long, day and night, despite the fact that fires are more likely to have devastating results during the dry months.

The Army is also considering moving training activities from Makua to Pohakuloa on Hawai’i Island. This is outrageous and unacceptable to shift the destruction, contamination and suffering to any other community. 

What’s at stake?

Makua, the Parents: A site in one Hawaiian creation story where Papa (Earth Mother) and Wakea (Sky father) created life on Earth. Also in the Pele and Hi’iaka epic, Makua is the site where Hi’iaka miraculously resurrected a drowned girl and defeated an evil invading spirit that threatened the people of Makua.

One of the richest concentrations of Kanaka Maoli cultural sites, with more than 70% of the valley covered with terraces, shrines and temples, dwellings, burials and other important features. 

More than 40 endangered species, some of them found only in Makua.

Makua is one of the last intact ahupua’a (land division from the mountain to the sea) on O’ahu, where Kanaka Maoli could learn and practice traditional land management methods and systems.

Makua is a victim and an unwilling accessory of the illegal and immoral US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Makua is the manifestation of American empire in Hawai’i and the Pacific. 

What the People Want:

We demand that the Army select the community’s preferred alternative, which was not even included in the list of alternatives considered: an end to Army training in Makua, a complete clean up and restoration of the environmental and cultural resources of the valley, and a return of the land to the community in consultation with the Kanaka Maoli people to be managed for sustainable and culturally appropriate uses. We refuse to let our lands be used to prepare for wars, invasions and occupations of other peoples’ lands that deprive other peoples of their lives, freedom and livelihoods.

A Call to Action: 

This is an urgent call for all practitioners of aloha ‘aina, to all who love Hawai‘i nei to rally to protect Makua. It is important to have a strong turn out at the first hearing on October 6, 2008 to demonstrate the community’s unwavering opposition to any further military training in Makua.

If you have any questions about the action or how you can kokua, please leave a message at DMZ and someone will contact you.
DMZ Hawaii/Aloha Aina

Information about the Makua DSEIS, including the actual document, may be downloaded from the Army website:

Public meetings will be held at the locations listed below. Each meeting will consist of an open house from 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m., where information will be provided on the SDEIS, followed by a public comment session from 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

* October 6, 2008
Nanakuli High School Cafeteria
89-980 Nanakuli Avenue
Waianae, HI 96792

* October 7, 2008
Wahiawa District Park Recreation Center
1129 Kilani Ave
Wahiawa, HI 96786

* October 8, 2008
Aunty Sally Kaleohano's Luau Hale
799 Piilani Street
Hilo, HI 96720

* October 9, 2008
Waimea Community Center
65-1260 Kawaihae Road

Posted: Mon - October 6, 2008 at 10:05 AM    
World Court Case DVD
Larsen Case on DVD
Larsen DVD
Larsen v. Hawaiian Kingdom at the
Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Hague, 2001
DVD Mini-Documentary & Booklet
Order your copy
Free Hawaii
Over at the Free Hawaii blog, Koani Foundation is giving away "Free Hawaii" stickers and pins, and will post photos of them displayed in interesting places. Spread them far and wide!
TV Worth Watching
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Colbert Report
NOW with David Brancaccio
Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria
Countdown with Keith Olbermann
Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry
Real Time with Bill Maher
Washington Journal on C-Span
PBN Friday with Howard Dicus
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Browse archives by date
Support Organ Donation
Comments powered by
Weblog Commenting by
Add to Technorati Favorites
If you find this weblog valuable, please consider making a secure donation via PayPal to support its ongoing maintenance:

Or contact me about sponsoring this blog in exchange for space in the Sponsored Links area above.
Total entries in this blog:
Total entries in this category:
Published On: Oct 06, 2008 10:08 AM
Powered by