Strategic Plan 2004 - 2008

Vision for Kaho‘olawe
The kino of Kanaloa is restored. Forests and shrublands of native plants and other biota clothe its slopes and valleys. Pristine ocean waters and healthy reef ecosystems are the foundation that supports and surrounds the island.

Na po‘e Hawai‘i care for the land in a manner which recognizes the island and ocean of Kanaloa as a living spiritual entity. Kanaloa is a pu‘uhonua and wahi pana where Native Hawaiian cultural practices flourish.

The piko of Kanaloa is the crossroads of past and future generations from which the Native Hawaiian lifestyle spreads throughout the islands.

Developed & Adopted in 1995.

Core Values
KIRC holds these values to be true to its mission and organization:

  • In our programs and in the way we operate, we embrace Kaho‘olawe’s significant role in perpetuating the Native Hawaiian culture.
  • We recognize Kaho‘olawe as a pu‘uhonua and wahi pana — a sacred place.
  • In our actions, programs, training, and plans, we live and incorporate the values, practices and protocols of the host culture.
  • Our job is to restore the island and its waters, and to increase the culturally appropriate, safe use of the Reserve towards the fulfillment of the vision for Kaho‘olawe.

A Context for the Rebirth of a Sacred Island
In November 2003, the U.S. Navy transferred control of the management of Kaho‘olawe to the State of Hawai‘i. This transfer marked a new beginning in the history of the island and its surrounding waters.

  • Since 1995, there have been five major planning documents developed for the Reserve:
  • Palapala Ho‘onohonoho Moku‘aina O Kaho‘olawe, Kaho‘olawe Use Plan
  • Ho‘ola Hou I Ke Kino O Kanaloa, Kaho‘olawe Environmental Restoration Plan
  • Ola I Ke Kai O Kanaloa, Kaho‘olawe Ocean Management Plan
  • Access and Risk Management Plan for the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve
  • Cleanup Plan, UXO Clearance Project, Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve (by Parsons-UXB Joint Venture for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific Division)

Together, these plans frame the future use and restoration of the Reserve.

Given the enormity of the task, the condition of the island and its surrounding waters, and the limitations of safety and money, what should KIRC’s priorities be over the next five years? This is the question that is pursued in the strategic plan.

Kaho‘olawe faces many opportunities and challenges. In navigating these waters, the strategic plan is a living document that serves as a “compass” in establishing direction, priorities, and actions for hanau hou he ‘ula ‘o Kaho‘olawe, the re-birth of a sacred island.

Key Factors
The primary planning documents previously adopted serve collectively as the foundation for KIRC, especially Palapala Ho‘onohonoho Moku‘aina O Kaho‘olawe (The Kaho‘olawe Use Plan).

  • There is an inherently Native Hawaiian purpose to the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve, as recognized by history, the public, and in State and Federal laws, including but not limited to the statutory framework for KIRC and the constitutional protection of customary and traditional access.
  • The Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana has a historical and cultural relationship to Kaho’olawe.
  • There are kupuna and families that have traditional and historical relationships with Kaho‘olawe.
  • By State law, the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve is to be managed in trust until such time and circumstances as a sovereign native Hawaiian entity is recognized by the federal and state governments.
  • The remote geography of Kaho‘olawe presents its own challenges.
  • The environment is fragile.
  • There are extensive cultural and historical places.
  • There are unexploded ordnance and other hazards.
  • Monitoring and management of the risk is a State responsibility. By federal law, there is a perpetual federal responsibility for the unexploded ordnance.
  • As of January 2004, the Trust Fund has $35 million, which will be insufficient to fully provide for meaningful, safe use of the Reserve unless additional funds are secured.
  • By state law, commercial uses of the Reserve are banned.

Strategic Priorities 2004 - 2008


  • To increase the size, diversity and sustainability of the trust fund and to manage the organization’s budget in a manner that protects the trust fund.
  • To be prepared for the transition of the Reserve to the future Native Hawaiian sovereign nation.

Restoration and Perpetuation

  • To assess and stabilize cultural sites, and provide for appropriate access and cultural practices.
  • To systematically restore the environment.


  • To develop a significant volunteer base, especially in concert with stewardship organizations such as the PKO, for the purposes of cultural, natural resource, and marine resource restoration.
  • To develop and maintain appropriate and sustainable infrastructure (including on-island and inter-island transportation, energy, communication, water, sanitation, and Kihei information center).
  • To develop an enforcement network spanning the community and government, in order to protect Kaho‘olawe and its waters from illegal, inappropriate and unsafe uses.
  • To maintain a significant on-island presence for the purposes of managing and protecting the Reserve.


  • To develop and distribute educational programs and materials towards the public’s understanding of the cultural, historical and spiritual significance of Kaho‘olawe.

The Mission of the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission

Our mission is to implement the vision for Kaho‘olawe, in which the kino of Kanaloa is restored, and na po‘e Hawai‘i care for the land. We pledge to provide for meaningful, safe use of Kaho‘olawe for the purposes of the traditional and cultural practices of the native Hawaiian people, and to undertake the restoration of the island and its waters.

Established in 1993.