News, updates, finds, and stories from staff and community members at KAHEA.
Showing blog entries tagged as: conservation

News, updates, finds, stories, and tidbits from staff and community members at KAHEA. Got something to share? Email us at:

Legislative Update

From Marti:

This is just a quick run down on the status of some of the local legislation we are watching this session.  Tomorrow is second lateral – the day when surviving bills have to be delivered to their final committee.  The next major deadline is April 9th.


SB 1088 - Seeks to improve enforcement of beach access for the public.  It successfully passed the House Water, Land, and Ocean Committee on Monday (Mahalo to Rep. Ito (D-Kaneohe) and Rep. Har (D-Kapolei)).  It is now on it’s way to the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. Karamatsu, D-Waipahu).  It needs a hearing by the first week of April.  Click here to demonstrate your support this important bill.

HB 1663/SB 709 – Both bills to protect taro from genetic modification are moving along nicely since cross over.  Tho, we are cautious to ensure that they are not amended to contradict the interests of taro farmers and consumers.  Click here to submit testimony in support of meaningful protections for our beloved Haloa. And, you can click here to read about the poundin’ good time had by all at the Taro Festival this year.

HRC 231 – This House Concurrent Resolution to uphold and enforce the laws that protect Mauna Kea was recently introduced by Rep. Hanohano (D-Puna).  This resolution outlines all that the State Land Board needs to do to fulfill its constitutional and statutory mandates to protect the conservation district of Mauna Kea.  Click here to add your support for this awesome reso.


HB 1174 - This bill seeks to give UH (the developer) management control over the conservation district of Mauna Kea. The Senate Committees on Higher Education and Water, Land passed this bill in a joint hearing, despite considerable solid testimony in opposition and only conditional testimony in support.  This bill now must be heard by the Ways and Means Committee.  Click here to take action and defend Mauna Kea.

HB 1741 – The bill to raid the Natural Area Reserve Fund has finally died!! Though we are concerned that this important fund to prevent invasive species could be raided through the budget bill.  So, stay close to hear the call to action on that front.

HB 1226 – Not only has the preemption bill died at the Capitol, it has also raised the ire of the counties who don’t appreciate some state representatives offering to just give away county authority to regulate GMO-agriculture.  Click here to read about the resolution Maui passed 9-0 against the preemption bill.

SB 1318 – This bill flipped to the good side.  The House Water, Land, and Ocean Committee deleted all the language about abolishing our coastal zone management protections and replaced with it with good language from Rep. Thielen’s pilot proposal to protect shorelines in Kailua from sea level rise with greater setbacks.

SB 1712 – The Right to Fish Bill is back in a slight muted form this session.  Unfortunately, this bill is starting to gain momentum. Stay tuned for updates on how to take action against efforts to undermine management of our fisheries and coastal areas.

Saving the Palila

Posted by Miwa at Mar 25, 2009 04:45 PM |

To all our friends who have been working so hard on protections for the endangered Palila bird on the Big Island, thanks for continuing to push for the survival of this species!

A court filing yesterday accused the state Department of Land and Natural Resources of failing to fully comply with court orders to protect the critically endangered palila bird on the Big Island.

The DLNR had no immediate response to the filing by Earthjustice.

The environmental law firm, which is representing the Hawaii Audubon Society, the National Audubon Society and the Hawaii chapter of the Sierra Club, said three federal court orders dating to 1979 require the state to keep the bird’s critical habitat atop Mauna Kea clear of feral goats and sheep and mouflon sheep.

Anything is better than nothing?

Posted by Miwa at Mar 20, 2009 01:54 AM |

From today’s HTH, on UH’s proposed management plan for Mauna Kea:

“We don’t have anything now, and anything is better than nothing, I think,” he said.

Could UH’s Barry Taniguchi have given a weaker endorsement of the UH Mauna Kea “management” plan he himself has been lobbying in favoring of?

Forgive us if we continue to believe that Mauna Kea deserves better than a “anything is better than nothing” plan for its future.

The Land Board will hold a two day hearing on April 8 and 9 in Hilo to consider UH’s latest management plan for the summit. The plan is UH’s attempt to circumvent, er… comply with requirements from two losses in court and two state audits which found that the telescope developers violated the state and federal laws meant to protect Mauna Kea. You can ask the Land Board and other decision-makers to reject this false UH plan, and give this sacred summit the future it deserves: a plan which protects and conserves the summit, provides for independent oversight, fair representation for communities, and fair compensation to the people of Hawaii.

The UH plan fails to put any enforceable or numeric limits on telescope development and instead limits public access, dictates religious ceremony, and makes it easier for UH and telescope developers to pocket public money made from the lease of Mauna Kea’s public trust lands. A`ole.

But, it seems, “better than nothing.” Right.

Molokai Plant added to Endangered Species List Today

Posted by Miwa at Mar 17, 2009 07:20 PM |

Rare Molokai mint plant was officially listed today!

From Jan TenBruggencate at his Raising Islands blog:

This little plant isn’t the kind of mint you put in a julep, and it doesn’t have a minty smell, but it’s a relative of the fragrant mints. It’s a vine with lots of branches—kind of sprawling and messy. It has floppy, rough-haired leaves and clusters of white flowers, according to the proposed listing notice last year in the Federal Register. The listing notice contains virtually all the information known about the plant.

In 2005, botanists searching Kamakou, a preserve operated by The Nature Conservancy, found two of them growing in the wild. And in the last two years, a total of 24 of them have been found, all but one in Kamakou Preserve, and the remaining plant in the state’s Pu’u Ali’i Natural Area Reserve.

Cuttings were taken and carefully rooted, and the plantlets were re-established in Kamakou.

There are now 238 plants growing in the wild.

R.I.P. SB 502

3 down, 1 to go! Thanks to the public’s vigilant support and participation SB 502 is officially dead!!  Yay!

SB 502 was one of four bills proposing to transfer management of one of the Pacific’s most unique and sacred summits, Mauna Kea, over to its primary developer–the University of Hawaii.  The University has facilitated forty years of bulldozing for unlimited telescope development on the summit, which has destroyed ecologically unique habitat and desecrated sacred cultural sites.

Just one more bill remains: HB 1741.  With your help, we can stop it.  Express your opposition to this and the whole suite of bad Mauna Kea bills for which UH is lobbyingby submitting your online testimony.  Support Hawaii’s legislators in seeking accountable, transparent, fair and representative management of Mauna Kea’s sacred summit by submitting your testimony:

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