U.S. House passes bill advancing first national forest for Hawaii

Local News

(Paul Hennon/USDA Forest Service via AP, File)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a proposed bill to advance the creation of Hawaii’s first National Forest.

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The National Forest System (NFS) currently comprises of 154 national forests, 20 national grasslands and several other federal land designations containing 193 million acres.

U.S. Congressman Ed Case, who proposed the bill, says adding a National Forest from Hawaii to the NFS would help conservation efforts and provide research opportunities.

“Despite having some of the most unique and endangered forest lands in the country, Hawaii is one of only a handful of states nationwide without a National Forest,” explained Case. “Establishing a National Forest in Hawaii would support tropical forest conservation and research throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and provide appropriate recreational, cultural and commercial opportunities in Hawaii all with financial and other assistance from the federal government.”

The measure directs the Forest Service to conduct a study to identify available land within the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu and Kauai that could be included in a national forest in Hawaii.

The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

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