THREE BURIALS UNEARTHED BY COWS AT LEPEULI UNCEREMONIOUSLY REBURIED BY SHPD’S MCMAHON WITHOUT BURIAL COUNCIL NOTIFICATION.
LETTER DETAILS HARASSMENT OF TOURISTS BY LAYMON CONTINUES ON DISPUTED TRAIL
(PNN) -- Three burials that were disinterred by Bruce Laymon's cattle operation on Waioli Corporation property at Lepeuli (Larsen’s Beach) and were unceremoniously moved and reinterred by State Historical Preservation Division (SHPD) Archeologist Nancy McMahon, according to a letter from McMahon to Hope Kallai of Malama Moloa`a.
And in other developments the harassment of tourists by Laymon continues according to 62-year-old “snowbird” tourist Dennis L. Bosio.
The re-burials were apparently done without any notification or processing by the Kaua`i Burial Council (KBC).
In response to a letter from Kallai detailing her discovery of the reburials including maps to the area of the apparent re-interment, McMahon wrote to Kallai on December 17, 2009
This looks like the reinterment location that Eddie Ayau former Burial Staff of SHPD and myself did after three individuals were discovered at the base of the trail in the sandy beach as someone cut the fence or it broke and cattle wandered the area, apparently following the trail.
Thanks I will take a look as soon as possible.
Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
Archaeology and Historic Preservation Manager
According to a Sept 11, 2009 memo marked “confidential” and obtained by Kallai. McMahon wrote to the DLNR’s Sam Lemmo:
"In Field 12 near the shoreline Hawaiian burials were found when the cattle broke the fence and eroded a trail. The reinterment is just below the fence in the boulder area in a gully at the end of Larsen's Beach Trail. In this area we recommend hand clearing no machinery and little herbicide use."
According to Kallai the burials are part of an ancient Hawaiian village as determined by archeologist David Burney of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens who has done extensive work at the caves in Maha`ulepu.
According to minutes from a Na Ala Hele meeting in 1998 Burney said the site may be “the oldest archaeological site on Kauai ”.
Kallai says that despite the fact that “Dr. Dave Burney (NTBG) corroborated the area as a significant archaeological site, with at least 2 distinct habitation layers”- a fact he reported to Waioli shortly after Hurricane ‘Iniki- “no protective measures were instituted” and no environmental assessment, which would include cultural impacts under HRS 343, has ever been conducted.
Currently there is an appeal pending before the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) for a conservation district use permit (CDUP) Laymon has obtained to do work in the area to pasture cattle, as PNN reported last month.
The incident of harassment occurred on March 6 according to Bosio, when he and a friend were “on the lateral trail where the trail becomes a road” according to a letter written that day by Bosio and obtained by PNN.
The letter says:
This morning about 9:30am... (a) man who identified himself as Bruce Laymon got out of a dump truck and confronted me.
He said " you are on private property and you know it, I am going to take your picture and the next time we see you on our property we will have you arrested". He was agitated, threatening and confrontational. He did not take my picture at this time but did yell at some workers to remember me if I came back on their property.
He accused me of being part of the group vandalizing his equipment and taking pictures and stirring up trouble. I had no idea about the damage to the equipment until the afternoon when I got the newspaper and saw today’s story.
A little while later I walked back down south on the beach a hundred yards or so and was talking to 2 guys I see there alot. We were on the sand not too far from the grass line. The guy who said he was Bruce Laymon came down on to the sand and started yelling at me again. He took my picture with a disposable camera and asked me for my name. When I smiled for the picture he said, "you better watch out, you think this is funny." He was yelling about how he was going to have 50 Hawaiians down here next week and they were going to take the beach back. "You watch and see, we will run you haoli's (sic) out of here. That's all you fucking haoli's do is come down here, get naked, and leave all kinds of shit back here in woods." He also yelled about how his entire crew was family and that's why they were doing this work, to reclaim the beach for their family and the Hawaiians.
I tried to calm him down and talk to him but he was having none of that. He kept accusing me of stirring up trouble. He also said that I was spreading lies through the newspaper.
Nice aloha spirit,
But Bosio did not make the letter public until May 5th saying
I have waited this long to make this account public because at the time my wife and I had 3 weeks remaining of vacation, we were renting near the Larsens (sic) Beach road, we walked Koolau road and Larsen’s Beach access road daily and were afraid we would run into either Bruce Laymon or one of his hired hands again. He was very threatening.
He ended by saying:
The above is a true and honest narrative of my encounter on March 6, 2010.
When I was confronted I was on a trail that I have used hundreds of times over the past seven years. There was a large truck, several pickups, guys with chain saws, and other large machinery clearing right up to the beach sand. I did not think that was right. I had taken pictures of the clearing work previous days, shared them with locals, and at least one of my pictures was in The Garden Island newspaper. I don’t know how they got it.
My wife and I are 62 year old retirees and have been coming to Kauai each winter for a month or two. We have real reservations about spending our vacation dollars on Kauai in the future. Just the lodging and rental car taxes for our two month’s on island this year were over $1,300. Larsen’s Beach is a unique natural treasure and the Larsen’s Beach experience is one that attracts a great deal of tourist revenue to Kauai . I hope it is protected for future generations.
Dennis L. Bosio
Kallai’s research into the significant cultural activities at Lepeuli are summarized in a letter to Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chief Executive Officer Clyde Nāmu'o.
The letter details the history of the region and so the need for a cultural impact statement according to Kallai. For those with an interest it is reprinted in full below.
RE: Cultural Impact Assessment Request
CDUA Permit Application 3525
DOCARE KA 09-12
Lepeuli, Ko`olau District, Kauai
Aloha no Mr. Nāmu'o and OHA:
There is a very distressing situation in the Lepeuli ahupua`a, Ko`olau District, of Kauai . A Conservation District Use Application has been submitted by Paradise Ranch, LLC and its attorney, Lorna Nishimitsu. This ahupua`a was acquired by Abner Wilcox in 1851 (Land Grant 530 for 535 acres for $535.68), with reservations (Koe ke kuleana o na kanaka) for the following kuleana(see attached): Kamokuliu (0519), Koleaka (05020), Kawelo(09073) , Kalawa (09149), Luahine (10014 also RP 4233), Makulu (0000K01), and a 20 acre Land Grant to Kane (523 in 2 apana). These kuleana areas are proposed to be disked, fenced and cross fenced for pasturage for commercial cattle production.
The Lepeuli Ahupua`a in the Ko`olau District of Kauai was a densely occupied coastal community of several hundred Native Hawaiians for about a thousand years, with features including ancient habitation sites,`auwai, agricultural sites and lo`i kalo, mala of noni, wauke, and u`ala, ponds and fish ponds, heiau and pa, and burial sites of `iwi kupuna. Coastal Alaloa connected the inter-related ahuua`a of the Koolau District from Kealia to Hanalei, through neigh boring areas of Moloa`a, Ka`aka`aniu, Lepeuli, Waipake, Pila`a, Kahili,Namahana, Kilauea and Waiakalua. Waipake kuleana landholders had kula of wauke in Moloa`a, connected by the coastal Ala Loa. A houselot in a Ka`aka`aniu kuleana had lo`i kalo in Lepeuli, documenting the inter-connectedness of these coastal fishing and agricultural communities
Taro production continued in Lepeuli Stream valley until the mid-1930's, when it was replaced by rice grown by the Japanese famers of Waipake. Contact period historic features include a four-room school, church, cemetery, pasture lands and piggery, sugar plantation ditches, and railroad tracks and the summer house of the plantation luna, L. David Larsen.
There has been no archaeological or cultural impact assessment of the potential impacts of proposed Paradise Ranch project on Waioli Corporation lands. There has never been any survey or inventory of Lepeuli. Applicant is applying for federal funds through the EQIP conservation program, subject to National Environmental Policy Act, which requires an assessment of environmental injustice assessment for particular impacts to subsistence hunters and gathers, dis-advantaged economic groups, races and cultural minorities.
According to Articles IX and XII of the State Constitution and other state laws, the state requires government agencies to "promote and preserve cultural beliefs, practices, and resources of Native Hawaiians and other ethnic groups."
The Department of Health (DOH), Chapter 343, requires an Environmental Assessment of cultural resources in determining significance and potential impacts of a proposed project.
Lepeuli has significant cultural and historic resources. The Ka`aka`aniu Reef system is the most highly documented tended limu in Hawai`i Nei, still of great important to the local residents. According to the predictive model of nearby archaeological assessments in Waipake and Moloa`a Bay Ranch, habitation sites and agricultural developments are expected to be in the stream valley with dryland terracing and agriculture on the slopes. Ancient and earlier prehistoric sites are predicted to be under the kuleana land filings. The historic ala loa joined the coastal communities throughout the Ko`olau District from Kealia to Hanalei.
The large swells of early December, 2009 exposed a significant archaeological site overlooking the stream channel of (de-watered) Lepeuli Stream. I notified SHPD (see attached); they claim it as one of their re-interments (see attached) - but there are significant features and charcoal firepits. I don't believe Nancy McMahon has been out to take a look.
There must be an archaeological and cultural impact assessment of the potential impacts of this Paradise Ranch CDUA to the Native Hawaiian community and it's special cultural resources and practices, including religious, subsistence fishing and gathering, by considering the impact of agricultural runoff to the reef resources of Ka`aka`aniu and cattle upon the historic kuleana lands of native Hawaiians in Lepeuli. Historic use by Japanese workers of Kilauea Sugar Plantation is highly documented. The only current residents of Lepeuli are descendents of Ko` olau School students.
I read with great respect your comments on the Moloa`a Bay Ranch CDUA. This Paradise Ranch project is of greater (more habitation and cultural uses) or equal importance, yet the Hawaiian community was not included for comments. The only history (and wildlife biology) was done by the applicant's attorney. Most of the Anahola community (including traditional cultural users and lineal descendents) do not know about this project. Federal funds should not be used to close off access to this important reef system. Paradise Ranch should not be allowed to rip and disk kuleana sands and back dunes (to increase water percolation!). Mr. Laymon, (known to disturb resting places of `iwi kupuna in prior CD violations) has stated that he knows where there are native Hawaiian burials. Scary.
Attached is a section excerpted from the Paradise Ranch SMA application that really deserves serious scrutiny.
Mahalo for your immediate action on this request and for requiring a cultural impact and archaeological assessment prior to any more impacting actions on these precious ancient Hawaiian homes and Conservation District Lands. Please contact me if you need any more information. Thank you for taking immediate steps to protect these resources and keep our history alive.
There were kuleana reserved in Lepeuli and resided on by Native Hawaiians until the 1930-1940’s. There are plenty of records and rememberences of these people. There are lineal descendents in the area.
One kuleana holder questioned whether he had to still pay taxes to the konohiki after Wilcox got Grant 530 Plenty of Hawaiian presence. The remains of a population of several hundred people living in Lepeuli for perhaps a thousand years are in the sands and lands of Lepeuli – not just 3 individuals. Conversion of house lots of kuleana to pasture has potential to significantly impact preservation and salvage of significant cultural resources. Closure of an ancient trail to important cultural resources is unacceptable.
The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has concerns with this project. Their comments have not been considered. There must be a culturally respectful plan for the re-burials; they must be offered protection from mechanized manipulation of the soil, herbicides and cattle manure. This is culturally and socially unconscionable. Burials in a commercial cow pasture! AUWE!
We’re again forced to take a long weekend to take care of pressing matters. See ya Monday or so.