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First Kaho'olawe leases granted
The entire island of Kaho'olawe was reserved as government lands during the Mahele of 1848, but it was not until 10 years later that the first leases were granted. Sparsely populated even in the best of times, an inventory of the island's resources showed fresh water present only in rare pools and brackish water available in three locations. Traditional crops had consisted of calabash gourds, sugar cane, and sweet potato. Other vegetation consisted of grasses and a few akoko, 'a'ali'i, sandalwood and wiliwili trees in the upland areas. Elisha Allen and R.C. Wyllie, the first leasees of the island, introduced sheep to be raised for wool and meat. Later ranchers introduced goats and cattle, all of which contributed to severe overgrazing and the creation of a denuded island with an extreme erosion problem.
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