Conservation Council for Hawaii News Release
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources is proposing revisions to Hawaii Administrative Rules relating to hunting and game, and asking the public for their feedback. This is an opportunity to urge the state to change the hunting and game management paradigm to reduce the damage caused by introduced continental feral ungulates and game mammals, and provide more opportunities for hunters to help control animals and bring home the meat.
The state’s hunting and game program is now out of control. Feral goats browse along the highways in Kona, ubiquitous feral pigs forage next to highways on Oahu, axis deer are exploding on Maui, feral goats and deer cause extensive erosion on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai and the south shore of Molokai.
By introducing continental hoofed mammals that are protected and “managed” in Hawaii, it comes at the expense of unique Hawaiian plants, animals, and ecosystems that evolved over thousands of years and are found no where else in the world.
Some talking points include:
Feral ungulates and game mammals – pigs, goats, sheep, mouflon, axis deer, and black-tailed deer – damage ceded land, watersheds, natural area reserves, habitat for threatened and endangered Hawaiian species, and privately owned farms, orchards, nurseries, gardens, and yards. These animals threaten human health and safety, and water quality of streams and near shore waters.
Feral ungulates and game mammals should be removed from all sensitive areas on state-managed land, and the state should prohibit people from moving feral ungulates and game mammals to areas or islands where they are not established.
The state should increase hunting opportunities by removing all bag limits and declaring a permanent open season on all feral ungulates and game mammals on state-managed land.
The state should close areas temporarily as needed for maintenance and to enable hunters to remove animals in sensitive areas, as was done on the Na Pali Coast in September 2010.
The proposed rule change packet is available on-line at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/rules and http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/dofaw (Division of Forestry and Wildlife Chapter 122 and 123). Please submit brief written comments.
E-mail comments to DLNR@hawaii.gov or postmark written testimony by Monday, November 29, 2010 to:
Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources
Public Hunting Rules
P.O. Box 621
Honolulu, HI 96809