US military affirms it will end live-fire training in Hawaii's Makua Valley

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. military has confirmed that it will permanently end live-fire training in Makua Valley on Oahu, a major win for Native Hawaiian groups and environmentalists after decades of activism.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth filed a statement with federal court in Hawaii on Friday affirming the military’s new stance that it would “no longer need to conduct live-fire training at (Makua Military Reservation), now or in the future,"

Under the terms of a 2001 settlement, the military hasn’t conducted live-fire training at Makua Valley since 2004. But the court filing “removed the threat that Makua will ever again be subjected to live-fire training," environmental nonprofit Earthjustice said in a news release.

Earthjustice has represented local activist group Malama Makua in its long-running legal dispute with the Army.

Makua Valley was the site of decades of live-fire military training. The training at times sparked wildfires that destroyed native forest habitat and sacred cultural sites, Earthjustice said.