S.C.R. NO.









declaring 2003 as the year of the hawaiian forests.



WHEREAS, the intimate relationship of Hawaii's forested watersheds with its dependable supply of clean water was recognized by the earliest Polynesian settlers and continues today; and

WHEREAS, the secret to Hawaii's natural abundance of water lies in a convergence of winds upon its richly forested mountains; and

WHEREAS, healthy forests help filter rain into the ground and replenish underground water reservoirs while protecting our near shore ocean waters from siltation; and

WHEREAS, healthy and productive forests provide a habitat for our wildlife and plants, recreation for our people, and a place to continue cultural traditions and take inspiration from nature's beauty; and

WHEREAS, at the turn of the twentieth century, public and private concerns helped set aside over 1.8 million acres of land into forest reserves further protecting Hawaii's water resources; and

WHEREAS, today, watershed partnerships comprised of public and private landowners are being established throughout the State to continue this critical work; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii's territorial government approved Act 44, Session Laws of Hawaii 1903, which created Hawaii's forest reserve system as well as the oldest public forest management entity in the western United States, which is now the Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife; and

WHEREAS, today, Hawaii has the 11th largest state-owned forest and natural area reserve system in the United States as well as the nation's largest area of tropical rain forest; and

WHEREAS, there are many in the community who remember or participated in emergency conservation work both in the past and present, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and Emergency Environmental Workforce, which has and continues to contribute significantly to the care of our forest lands; and

WHEREAS, in Hawaii the public's awareness for forest stewardship needs to be nurtured, and given this sentiment reaffirm the people's commitment to care for the forest which conserves and maintains the life blood of the land; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Land and Natural Resources has expressed an interest in celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of Hawaii's forest reserves in a manner that communicates and reinvigorates awareness of the importance and contributions of Hawaii's forests to our culture, environment, economy, and quality of life in the hope that future generations will enjoy the benefits of our forests for another one hundred years; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2002, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Legislature declares 2003 as the "Year of the Hawaiian Forest" to provide the context to assist the Department of Land and Natural Resources in centennial recognition activities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all relevant federal, state, county agencies, as well as the private sector, where feasible, are requested to assist the Department of Land and Natural Resources directly or through their own programs, to celebrate 2003 as the Year of the Hawaiian Forest; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, who in turn is requested to transmit copies to any other federal, state, or county agency the Chairperson finds interested in the celebration.






Report Title:

Declaring 2003 as the Year of the Hawaiian Forests