(BIVN) – The contract for feral cattle removal on Humuʻula, which is under Hawaiian Home Lands management, was a hot topic of discussion during the recent Hawaiian Homes Commission meeting in Waimea earlier this week.
One of the speakers who addressed the commission during public testimony was local hunter Tjaye Forsythe. He shared information from past ʻAina Mauna Legacy Program environmental assessments and mission statements.
“It’s a beneficiary driven program,” Forsythe said. “You have to involve the beneficiaries, through all stages of the plans.”
Forsythe even offered to help the commission create a program for “people who have Hawaiian can go up on the mountain and exercise that right, on trust land, and not have to worry about enforcement.”
“The last thing I want, here on that mountain” Forsythe said, “is enforcement through DLNR – our Department of Land and Natural Resources – harassing the Hawaiian people for putting food on the table.”
“That’s what we do,” Forsythe told Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William Ailā. “To this day, that meat that I bring off that mountain goes directly to my mom and all of our families. Meat is expensive. Try go buy hamburger. $10 a pound, $15 a pound. But if you have the skill set to go get that meat yourself, and your Hawaiian, why do we not have access to it?”
Big Island Video News will be featuring other public testimony given at Monday’s Department of Hawaiian Home Lands meeting in Waimea.