HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. military has confirmed it will permanently end live-fire training at Makua Valley on Oahu, a major victory for natives. AirportA group and environmentalists after decades of activism.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Army Secretary Christine Wermuth filed a statement in federal court in Hawaii on Friday confirming the Army's new stance that it will no longer be required to conduct live-fire training at (Makua Military Reservation). in future," Hawaii News Now reported.
Under the terms of the 2001 agreement, the Army has not conducted live-fire training in the Makua Valley since 2004. But environmental nonprofit Earthjustice said the court "removed the threat that Makua will again be subjected to live-fire training." In a news release.
Earthjustice has represented local activist group Malama Makua in its long-running legal dispute with the military.
Makua Valley was the site of decades of live-fire military training. Earthjustice said the training led to several wildfires that destroyed native forest habitat and sacred cultural sites.
Makua Military Reservation is spread over approximately 5,000 acres. According to Earthjustice, it is home to more than 40 endangered and threatened species and dozens of sacred and cultural sites.
Malama Makua board member Sparky Rodriguez said the Army seized Makua Valley for training after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, "evicting the Hawaiians with the promise that their land would be cleared." Will go and will be returned." “Almost 80 years later, we are still waiting. “Ending live-fire training is an important first step toward addressing the mistakes of the past and restoring makua – which means ‘parent’ in Hawaiian.”
Friday's court filing comes 25 years after Malama Makua sued the military to force compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The law requires federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions.
The state's lease to the military for use of the Makua Valley expires in 2029.
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