A new state corporation aims to make more money off leased public land. It asked for public input to set up its rules, so, hundreds came out Wednesday night to talk about the Public Land Development Corporation and if its mission was the right one for Hawaii.
"I hope you remember -- the things we fighting for. More important than making the money," said concerned resident Nameaaea Hoshino.
The meeting was filled with passionate testimony and plenty of questions about what the Public Land Development Corporation would actually do.
"We don't have any idea what you folks are going to do with public lands," said Brandi Hyden.
"The legislature has given us a tool to seek and increase revenue that we can generate so we can protect the rest of the resources of Hawaii," said Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair William Aila.
The state has lots of public land, like property that is currently leased for farming. But, many wondered what safeguards there would be to protect the environment and future generations from rampant revenue-generating activities.
"The PLDC is not required to see the approval of any independent entity or the public before making a decision that expends public lands or resources," said Bob Loy of the Outdoor Circle.
But, Aila says people's voices will be heard before development.
"There will be opportunities for the public to testify and if the land board transfers land, they can put conditions on the land," said Aila.
Even though its administrative rules have not been finished, the PLDC has already done one thing.