Newsletter 1 Plain Text

Newsletter 1 - July 2016

A Letter from the Superintendent
The warmest of greetings to all of our stakeholders and project partners, as well as anyone else sharing in the journey as we work to plan Honouliuli National Monument. We continue to be honored to have the privilege of working with such a passionate and diverse community. It’s hard to believe that over a year has gone by since the designation of Honouliuli as a National Monument, and since the National Park Service (NPS) was delegated the important task of overseeing the management and development of this new park unit.

A lot has happened since many of us came together for the first official stakeholder’s meeting in February, and the objective of this newsletter is to provide updates on administrative matters, operations and developments pertaining to Honouliuli, as well as to spotlight the work of our community stakeholders and project partners whose deep commitment to the preservation and interpretation of Honouliuli is an integral part of the planning effort. One of the NPS’s primary objectives is to be open and transparent in all that we do; and in doing so, we hope to promote understanding, inspire collaboration, and elicit feedback on our actions. We are fully aware that the startup phases of planning for a new park unit can seem difficult to follow, as a lot of the administrative work required to acquire financial resources and prepare the site for future development happens ‘behind the scenes’. We hope that this newsletter takes a step in the direction of providing you with an overview of current actions and their relevancy to big-picture planning and upcoming work. Furthermore, we hope that by including stakeholder updates we are able to keep everyone informed of all Honouliuli-related projects in the greater community.

In order to understand Honouliuli planning, it’s necessary to also have a general understanding of how regulatory frameworks and federal funding work. All planning actions undertaken by the NPS are subject to the availability of financial and human resources, so much of what NPS management has been focusing on is how to strategically build up our resources to plan for next steps. In its current state, Honouliuli’s annual operating budget allocation (base funding) is enough to cover start up administration, operations, and a limited amount of equipment and supplies. Beginning this winter, the park will be eligible to compete for special project funding from the National Park Service to set strategic initiatives into motion. Monument staff have also been laying the preliminary groundwork for the establishment of a Friends Group to support projects at the Monument. As our human and financial resources increase in the coming years, there will be more projects set into motion, and correspondingly, more opportunities to be a part of conversations which will help direct the conceptualization and planning of Honouliuli. It is our sincere hope that you will stay engaged, and take part in those conversations in the months and years to come.

There has already been some exciting progress made in these past few months which will help set the stage for future actions. Please read on to get a better idea of where we’re at and what’s coming up, and as always, don’t ever hesitate to get in touch if have questions, comments or concerns.

Thank you so very much!

Jacqueline Ashwell


Federal Funding Outlook
As referenced in the ‘Message from the Superintendent’, all units in the national park system receive a designated amount of base funding to cover park staff and operations, although additional funding can be obtained by submitting proposals for unit management and special projects. Below is a summary of current funding requests we have submitted which are pending approval:

Base Funding Increase
In FY 2016*, the base funding appropriated to Honouliuli was sufficient to cover two staff members, a vehicle lease, and a limited amount of travel, office supplies and field equipment. Understanding that the capacity to manage planning and development of Honouliuli is contingent upon the availability of financial and human resources, NPS management has submitted a request for an increase of $137,000 in base funding for FY 2017. In addition to supporting additional staff members to expand administrative, planning and
interpretive work, this money would open up opportunities to support Honouliuli planning needs and research. We anticipate finding out whether or not this request has been approved in the winter of 2016.

Special Project Requests
Although Honouliuli’s planning and data needs will need to be determined by the Foundation Document (more on this to follow), NPS management preemptively recognized in 2015 that more funding would be needed to carry out additional archeological investigations at Honouliuli. Not only are archeological investigations critical for learning more about the scope
and conditions of resources at Honouliuli, but are also a prerequisite to developing facilities on-site as we will need to ensure that any potential development does not adversely impact subsurface resources. We anticipate finding out whether or not these funds have been appropriated in the winter of 2017.

The federal fiscal year runs from Oct 1 to Sept 30 of each calendar year.

Friends Group Agreement with Pacific Historic Parks
A Friends Group Agreement is a formal partnership established between a non-profit organization and a Federal Agency such as NPS. Because federal agencies cannot engage in the solicitation of funds, a Friends Group Agreement provides the legal and policy framework for philanthropy and the leveraging of resources from private donations. For Honouliuli planning purposes, funds garnered through such an agreement have the potential to substantially expand the scope of what we are able to accomplish, and could be used to support directed programs of planning, research, interpretation, preservation and development.

In May, Superintendent Jacqueline Ashwell brought a motion before the Board of Directors of Pacific Historic Parks (PHP) to propose entering into a Friends Group Agreement with Honouliuli National Monument. PHP has maintained a longstanding and productive relationship with the NPS through work in Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan, and shares the common goal of promoting resource stewardship and a greater understanding of historic sites. We’re very happy to announce that the Board of Directors of PHP voted unanimously to enter into the Agreement! We are still in the process of completing the official paperwork, but once in effect, we are highly optimistic about the opportunities this partnership will open up, and look forward to using this relationship as a means to leverage scarce resources and increase the scope of what we are able to achieve in the Honouliuli planning process and beyond.

Staff Changes
For those of you who have not heard, we are very sad to announce the departure of Honouliuli’s Interpretive Ranger Lyle Eagle, who left his position at NPS at the end of March. Lyle had been working at Honouliuli since October of 2015 and was very passionate about both the historical and community engagement aspects of his job. Although sad to see him go, we are also happy that he was offered another job opportunity that was a better fit for him and his family, and we wish him all the best in his future work. We are very appreciative of all that he was able to achieve while working with us, and he has been greatly missed!
Lyle’s departure has left the NPS management team with some decisions to make about future staffing needs, and we are currently waiting to hear back about the funding outlook for FY 2017 before we make any definitive decisions on a new hire. We will keep you updated, and be sure to announce any position openings should they become available!

Stabilization of Retaining Wall and Aqueduct Abutment
This month, an NPS cultural resource specialist did a walkthrough of Honouliuli to monitor the conditions of various historic features at the site. After inspecting several areas, it was determined that NPS will need to request money for stabilization of the retaining wall and aqueduct abutment. The retaining wall runs adjacent to the former civilian internment compound (Compound V), and is showing signs of deterioration and cracking, most likely as a result of hydrostatic pressure from water draining downhill into the Honouliuli gulch. Similarly, the aqueduct abutment has shifted slightly since it was last assessed in 2015. Although neither of these resources are considered to be in immediate danger of collapse, we will be requesting and hope to procure funds through the next NPS funding cycle in order to get a head start on resolving these issues.


Wildfire Emergency Response Plan Completed
Working in partnership with the Pacific Island Network Fire Management Officer, NPS management has created a Wildfire Emergency Response Plan for Honouliuli. The plan outlines response objectives and procedures should a wildfire occur in or around the Honouliuli gulch, as well as enumerates preventative measures which will help prevent occurrences of wildfire. This plan was established not only in the interest of visitor safety, but also to prevent damage to resources which could result from fire suppression activities and to ensure coordination and communication with the fire department on such matters. NPS is currently in the process of planning walkthroughs of Honouliuli with adjacent landowners, the Board of Water Supply, the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the Honolulu Fire Department and NPS Law Enforcement, Security and Safety Personnel for further collaboration and to ensure mutual understanding. Once planning is further along at Honouliuli, NPS management will be working collaboratively with project partners and fire specialists to establish a comprehensive Fire Management Plan which will outline more extensive fire safety measures.

Funding for Honouliuli Foundation Document Approved

Once a year, the NPS Washington Office announces something called a Servicewide Comprehensive Call, which invites individual park units to submit requests to fund specific Unit Management Projects (UMPs). These projects cover the production of planning and management documents for both new and existing park units, and at present, each park is only delegated funding for a maximum of one UMP per funding cycle . In June, Honouliuli staff was notified that our request for UMP funding to complete a Foundation Document was preliminarily approved! As this moves forward, Honouliuli staff will be partnering with Anna Tamura and Betsy Anderson of the NPS Regional Planning Office to produce this document, and there will also be opportunities for stakeholder involvement. This effort would most likely begin in winter of 2017.

As discussed at the stakeholder meeting in February, a Foundation Document is the first required step in the planning process for all new units in the national park system, as it opens up the opportunity to integrate and coordinate all kinds and levels of management from a single, shared understanding of what is most important about the park. In terms of planning strategy, the Foundation Document establishes a roadmap of prioritized planning and data needs moving forward. Awards for UMP project funding in the future are contingent upon high and medium priority needs established in the Foundation Document process.

Future Archeological Work at Honouliuli
After saying our sad goodbyes to Interpretive Ranger Lyle Eagle in March, the NPS management team was faced with some important decisions to make regarding future Honouliuli staffing. Because the needs of Honouliuli have, and will continue to change with each coming planning phase, Lyle’s departure provided an opportunity to step back and reevaluate what kind of skill set and professional level would best serve Honouliuli in the foreseeable future.

After careful thought and consideration, it was decided that NPS would hold off on hiring a new staff member in FY 2016 until it is able to be determined whether or not the requested base funding increase for FY 2017 was accepted (see ‘Administrative Matters’). The other benefit of waiting until FY 2017 to determine new positions is that it opens up some additional funds for expenditure in FY 2016—funds which can be used to get critical projects off the ground. Based on feedback from several NPS division heads including the Chief of Cultural and Natural Resources, it has been decided that obligating these funds towards getting a head start on additional archeological investigations and inventory at Honouliuli would serve the most immediate planning need.

Having made this decision, NPS management is currently working on a project proposal to get an archeological project underway. This project will seek to collect and input all existing archeological data into a database, as well as conduct additional investigations to learn more about the site. Ultimately, the objectives of this project are to lay the groundwork for future data analysis and to serve as a tool in developing Honouliuli’s future resource management program. Although the project proposal is still being crafted and details worked out, we are hoping to partner with Dr. William Belcher at the University of Hawai`i West O`ahu (UHWO) in order to incorporate an educational opportunity for local students into this planning step.

As referenced in ‘Administrative Matters’, NPS staff had put in a request for federal funding to carry out additional archeological work at Honouliuli; however, federal funding cycles take several years for approval and procurement. Therefore, getting a head start additional archeological investigations would put us ahead of the game in terms of preparing for any potential development, and ensuring compliance with federal cultural resource policies. We will be sure and send out updates in a future newsletter with more details on how this comes together as the proposal is further along.


Mid-Pacific Institute Students Complete Honouliuli Digital Documentation Project

In 2015, non-profit organization CyArk was awarded a competitive grant under the National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program to undertake the project Rediscovering Honouliuli: Exploring Japanese American Confinement through Student Narratives and Digital Documentation. CyArk – whose mission is to use new technologies to create a free, 3D online library of the world’s cultural heritage sites – partnered with students and educators at the Mid-Pacific Institute’s CyArk Technology Center to digitally document resources at Honouliuli. Working together with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i (JCCH), students also conducted historical research on the site and went on to document personal reflections on Japanese American Confinement through video diaries.

In April, CyArk hosted a reception where students spotlighted their work and spoke about their personal reflections following their experiences at Honouliuli.

Honouliuli Exhibit Opening at Hawaii Plantation Village - You're Invited!
Funded by grant money under the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program of the National Park Service, the Friends of Waipahu Village Cultural Garden Park has been working together with graduate practicum students and Lorraine Minatoishi from Minatoishi Architects to create an exhibition on Honouliuli for installation at Hawaii Plantation Village in Waipahu. The interactive exhibition will focus on the internment history of the camp and take a critical look at what would be required to restore one of the extant structures at Honouliuli.
The opening date for this exhibition is planned for Saturday, October 1. The event will begin at 4:00 pm and will feature pupus for all invited guests. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP to Deanna Espinas at by September 24, 2016.

Please RSVP to
Deanna Espinas by
September 24, 2016

University of Hawaii West Oahu Archeological Field School
Throughout the month of June, 16 local university students led by Dr. William Belcher, worked to learn basic (as well as a few advanced) archeological skills at the Honouliuli National Monument. The primary research focus for the class was to examine the POW areas as well as the pre- and post-camp land use of the area. Specific topics covered in the class included lectures on cultural resource management, photography, field mapping, field GIS (with ArcPad), total station use, and excavation strategies.

Of the 16 students, 15 are UHWO undergraduates either working on their degree concentration in anthropology in the Division of Social Sciences or UWHO’s Certificate in Applied Forensic Anthropology (CAFA). This certificate requires an archeological field course for its successful completion, and the field school is also an elective in the certificate in Social Justice and Democratic Principles. One undergraduate student is attending college in Colorado, but is a local from the Waianae area. The field school also had two volunteers attend each week from UH Manoa.

Despite the heat and austere conditions, the students and volunteers were in high spirits and enthusiastic to learn archeological techniques as well as specifics about social justice related to the internment of US citizens and residents of Japanese and European descent and pre- and post-war use of the landscape and resources.

Work tasks included conducting a detailed survey of the northern and southern POW compounds (Compounds I and VII) and creating a detailed map of the dry masonry wall that is part of the main aqueduct system constructed in the early 20th century. While conducting surveys, the class also identified an aqueduct/irrigation complex that spreads out through Compound I.

Research methodologies included attempting to locate specific features seen on maps, photographs, and blueprints as well as an attempt to complete a 100 percent pedestrian survey of these compounds. Once located, features were photographed, mapped, and data points collected for the GIS data base on the site. In addition to the field work, the students went on three field trips: (1) World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (USS Arizona, USS Utah, and USS Oklahoma Memorials), (2) the Martial Law in Hawaii exhibit at the Hawaii Judiciary History Center, and (3) the Historic Exhibit and Resource Center at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.

Projects of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
In 2015, the JCCH was awarded two competitive grants through the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) program.

For the first project, The Power of Place: The Archeology of Hawai`i’s Internment Sites, the JCCH will update the 2007 Hawaiian Confinement Sites Overview to include assessments of newly identified and newly located internment sites that were not included in the 2007 report, and integrate all the previous archeological studies at Honouliuli and other Hawaiian civilian internment sites into one comprehensive document. The JCCH will be working with archeologist Mary Farrell, who co-produced the 2007 Hawaiian Confinement overview report with JCCH and served as the instructor of record for the University of Hawai`i West O`ahu’s archeological field methods class at Honouliuli Internment camp in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 (co-instructor). This project will provide valuable information to the NPS for future site management and development, and result in a publishable manuscript.

For the second project, Hawai`i Japanese American Internment: Short Documentaries on the Hawai`i counties of Kaua`i, O`ahu, Hawai`i and Maui, the JCCH is working to produce a four-part documentary which will serve as a sequel to the 2012 documentary, The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii. This documentary will be the first series to feature the 17 internment sites on the islands of Hawai’i and tell the stories of the internees’ experiences.

Work for both of these projects is ongoing, but completion is anticipated in 2017.
In addition JACS-grant funded projects, the JCCH has been working to prepare an exhibition on Honouliuli in their Community Gallery, which will serve as an opportunity for interested community members and visitors to learn more about Honouliuli, particularly while public access to the monument is limited. Follow the JCCH website for updates on the Education Center’s opening!

Monsanto Hawaii's Committment to Honouliuli
In 2007, Monsanto purchased approximately 2,300 acres of agricultural-zoned land in Kunia on the island of O`ahu , knowing that the remnants of the Honouliuli WWII confinement site were located within its property lines. Through extensive research and dialogue with various Hawai`i residents and community organizations, Monsanto quickly learned the significance of the site and the need to protect it. At that time, Monsanto made it a goal to partner with the community to help preserve the historic site in perpetuity. This included laying the foundation to eventually donate the land and establish the site as part of the U.S. National Park Service.

In 2015, Monsanto and the community celebrated when President Barack Obama announced that the former Honouliuli Internment Camp would be preserved as a national monument.
“Monsanto Hawai’i is honored to be a part of this long journey to preserve the Honouliuli Internment Camp. This effort is not only important to our company, it’s significant for our community and the history of our nation,” said Alan Takemoto, community affairs manager for Monsanto Hawai’i. “Back in 2007, Monsanto made a pledge to work with the community to preserve the Honouliuli Internment Camp site for future generations. We were thrilled to join together with the community to celebrate the creation of a new national monument.”

To date, Monsanto has gifted 116 acres of its land in Kunia for the new Honouliuli National Monument. An additional 22 acre donation is currently undergoing a subdivision process, which will pave the way for legal transfer of the land to the federal government.

To further ensure that the history and education of Honouliuli is perpetuated, Monsanto Hawai’i donated $100,000 to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (JCCH) in 2015 for the implementation of its Honouliuli Education Initiative. The donation will help to fund a variety of educational activities including a documentary of the campaign to establish the Honouliuli National Monument, community outreach on each island, supplemental materials for the Honouliuli Education Center and school tours for Hawai’i’s keiki.

“We are pleased to continue the momentum of raising public understanding and awareness about the Honouliuli National Monument through the JCCH Honouliuli Education Initiative and we will continue to work with the JCCH on education and outreach efforts,” added Takemoto.

Last updated: December 20, 2017

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Honouliuli National Monument
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