Paradise Ranch owner speaks up

LIHU‘E — A controversial permit to fence off the easiest access to Lepe‘uli, known as Larsen’s Beach, was surrendered last month. But Paradise Ranch may still go ahead and fence off the access to protect the conservation district land next to this secluded North Shore beach.

The lateral access to Lepe‘uli runs parallel to the beach and guarantees an effortless walk down from a 140-foot elevation. However, the lateral access is on private property, and there are already two county-owned trails that guarantee access to Lepe‘uli.

Following the permit’s withdrawal, community members who had opposed the fence immediately cried victory. But before they were able to finish their victory lap, ranch workers placed two metal posts resembling a fence foundation at the entrance of the trail, prompting further outcry from those trying to preserve the access that goes through private property.

Paradise Ranch owner Bruce Laymon, however, said the metal posts are not fence posts.

Over the years, ranch workers have put up quite a few land demarcation posts, establishing the boundaries of the land Laymon leases from landowner Waioli Corporation, a private non-profit organization. But those posts keep being vandalized.

Tired of replacing the boundary demarcations, Laymon said he decided to install metal posts to indicate the property limits.

Fort Scott Tribune: Op/Ed Column: Foreign landowners are accountable, agriculture experts say

Maine is the State with the largest number of acres owned by foreign persons.

Hawaii (9.3 percent) and Alabama (3.9 percent) follow Maine in percentage of foreign ownership. Kansas and Missouri possess foreign agricultural land ownership percentages of only .1 and .2 percent respectively.

Foreign investors who buy, sell or hold a direct or indirect interest in agricultural lands in the United States are required under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act to report their holdings and transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

The Secretary of Agriculture has delegated the responsibility for collecting this information to the Farm Service Agency.

Foreigner investors buying or selling land must report such transactions within 90 days of the date of the sale. Failure to file an accurate or timely report can result in a penalty with fines up to 25 percent of the fair market value of the agricultural land.