2004, the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife
(DOFAW) issued only 8,693 hunting licenses.
is a respected form of recreation around the world and also provides
food for some people. However, in Hawai‘i
all the game consists of animals from other places that were brought
to the islands and released into
the environment to roam and feed wherever they choose, on public
and private property.
- By failing to
fence in game animals, the State has placed the burden squarely
on the public, including
property owners and resource managers who must pay for fences
want to protect.
- While 8,700
or so people enjoy hunting, all of the State's 1,262,840 residents
continue to pay the extremely high price resulting
from introduced game animals roaming freely through one of the
rarest environments on Earth, feeding on endangered
species and spreading weed seeds into the most remote native forests.
- Some of the
costs are so high as to be incalculable: the ongoing death of rare
native plants and animals, continued extinctions, and the wholesale
degradation of public lands, watersheds, and forests under the
hooves of thousands of introduced animals. Some economic
analysis has been done to put the damage in terms of dollar
cost to taxpayers and future generations.
- 1,196,600 acres
of public land are designated as hunting areas for the benefit
of a user group totaling 8,693 persons. Just 94,900 acres are for
other wildlife sanctuaries and refuges. (Figures from DBEDT,
State of Hawaii Data Book, 2004)
time to start reversing the damage. Why aren't game animals fenced
into hunting areas, instead of residents and resource managers trying
to fence in everything they don't want destroyed? The old way is
backward, extremely harmful to the islands and to world biodiversity,
and makes no sense.
What if? What if hunters led the way
to this new model? Now that the harm of introduced game animals is
hunters could help reverse the damage by supporting fencing of hunting
areas, so that the islands could begin to recover. Hunters could
help clear lands outside of game management areas of pigs, sheep, goats,
deer. Then the restoration could begin: the restoration of native
forests and rare species that is currently impossible because of
Game Management Agency
is the agency charged with protecting Hawai‘i's
forests and watersheds:
Policy B: Protect and enhance the condition
of Hawaii's unique native plant and animal species, and native
inherent value to Hawaii's citizens
and for their productive value to science, education, industry
and the cultural
enrichment of future generations and
prevent species extinctions whenever
possible. (Source: 2004
DLNR DOFAW report to State Legislature)
administers the State's game program. Without fencing around
clearly delimited game areas, there is no control over where the
animals go. It is therefore impossible
for DOFAW to implement
- For meaningful
conservation of remaining native species to take place, the state
must stop devoting so many resources to the tiny minority of the
population who hunts and start
focusing on forest health and the recovery of the plants
feral ungulates have destroyed over the past decades.
- Right now DOFAW
could cheaply reduce the number of feral ungulates by ending bag
limits and allowing open-season hunting everywhere, at all times
areas such as high-volume
hiking trails that
regulation), and also aiding hunter access to remote areas.
will not change its policies
until more people insist on meaningful conservation and an
effective ungulate control plan. Please contact DOFAW
administrator Paul Conry and your legislators to
request feral ungulate control. Hawai‘i's
forests are being converted from something rare and
beautiful to something
very different. More than 265 extinctions and counting.
you choose this...