HILO, Hawaii – Hawaii County Game Management Advisory Commission members slammed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for having “no respect for the people” of Big Island hunting community.
“I’ve been asking them to come (to the GMAC meetings) for five years” said Willie-Joe Camara, the district 1 commissioner, “and I’ve yet to see them sit right there… Its one excuse after another.”
The situation was made worse after USFWS was a no-show for a GMAC meeting on Monday in Hilo, in which the federal service was scheduled to discuss U.S. Fish & Wildife plans to test broadcast rodenticides at Pohakuloa Military Training Area.
“Can you hold the line and say ‘no, we don’t want this rodenticide anywhere near these game animals?'” commissioner Naniloa Pogline asked James Cogswell, the Wildlife Program Manager for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
The DLNR and USFWS are putting together a Rodent and Mongoose Control Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which will describe “principles and methods for controlling or eradicating rodents and mongooses in conservation areas to protect native species.”
Cogswell said its a federal action being done on federal land, and said the experimentation will fill in “knowledge gaps” that will help government make better management decisions. He said the active ingredient in the rodenticide is diphacinone.
“We dont want to put any public at risk,” Cogswell said. “We want to make sure all that’s taken care of.”
Cogswell said USFWS will be at the next GMAC meeting in October to discuss the Pohakuloa rodenticide.