HONOLULU (KHON2) — Two additional hearings for Maui and Moloka‘i residents have been scheduled by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The hearing will offer the community a chance to comment on a proposal supporting the protection of nearly 100 unencumbered state land parcels across Hawai‘i as part of the State Forest Reserves, Natural Area Reserves, and Wildlife Sanctuaries systems.

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The hearing is intended to help update administrative rules associated with the Natural Area Reserves System and will be posted online and in meetings to collect the communities’ input.

Parcels in question are state lands that are not currently in use or being managed for environmental protection. The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife seeks to protect these parcels and provide areas for conservation, preservation, recreation and sustainable forest products. Possible changes on these lands include the protection of endangered species habitat, cultural site preservation, forest restoration and access for hiking or hunting.

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In addition to the prime subject of the hearing, DOFAW would also like to propose improved protection of reserves by updating administrative rules for the NARS. These updates would ultimately modify prohibited activities and penalties, allow longer-term special use permits, adjust parking fees for non-residents, manage commercial usage, extend the closure of areas and restrict access to off-trail areas.

Community members may provide commentary at upcoming hearings, online at the DOFAW website, via mail or in person at a DOFAW office. Comments are due March 1.

Maui and Moloka‘i informational meetings schedule:
In person: March 2nd, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Kahului Community Center, 275 Uhu Street, Kahului, HI 96732

In person: February 23rd, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Mitchell Pauole Community Center, 90 Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai, HI 96748

Online: February 15, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. via Zoom
Meeting ID: 816 9683 3617; Passcode: QrVz0G