Video by David Corrigan, voice of Stephanie Salazar
HILO, Hawaii – The council building in Hilo was packed with local hunters for a highly anticipated Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Commission meeting on Monday night. It was highly anticipated because on the hotseat was the new head of the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Lisa Hadway.
The commission wanted Hadway to update them on some critical issues affecting hunters, like the proposed changes to certain laws involving transportation of Hawaii wildlife. The changes have already gone to public hearing, and DLNR got an earful.
Hadway cited a relatively unknown concern for pseudo-rabies on the island as one reason for new transportation laws.
The new DOFAW administrator also gave an update on a pending Game Management Program Development plan.
Perhaps the biggest issue: hunters want to know actual locations and total acreage to be fenced under the state’s Watershed Protection Plan. Ungulates will be removed from those areas. Hunters are concerned about the loss of both game and access.
The commission was especially interested in the recent DLNR press release that promised to double the acreage of protected watershed forests in a decade from the 140,000 acres now being managed to more the 480,000 acres. Hadway presented a series of maps to the crowd, laying out the exact plans the state has for forest management, fencing and public hunting.
The commission hopes to host another visit from DLNR chair William Aila.