||Hawai’i has 25% of the United States’ federally listed endangered species and nearly
75% of the nation’s recorded extinctions. Although no such list or datasets exists
for cultural and historical landmarks, these resources may be similarly threatened.
Of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, Maui is the second largest and has the third
largest population. The average number of daily visitors has increased 333% to 51,222
people from 1980 to 2007. The history of grazing and agriculture along with increasing
resident and tourist populations has placed pressure on Maui’s resources.
East Maui is the least developed part of the island and may be in a critical time
period before becoming over-developed. Therefore, this study seeks to identify the
parcels with the most relevant and important resources in and for the region today.
Using primarily local interviews and historical data, I developed a conservation dataset
linked to the region’s tax parcels. The data were categorized into five resource groups:
biological, recreational, cultural, historical and other. With the creation of a GIS-based
tool, these categories can be given user-defined weights to highlight different conservation
priorities. This will function as a decision support tool that will allow the land
trust to explore different protection scenarios. This data, tool and document should
provide a framework from which the land trust can base future conservation decisions
regarding East Maui.
I conducted eight different scenarios and selected parcels with the highest values,
or greatest conservation importance. These parcels were compared across the scenarios.
These analyses highlighted that historical resources are relatively under-protected,
that many resources are concentrated in a limited number of parcels, and that many
top parcels are proximate to county-designated growth boundaries. These results should
incentivize the conservation community; protecting a few parcels can save a significant
number of resources and that action should be taken soon before development is proposed.