STAND. COM. REP. NO.2371
RE: S.B. No. 2579
Honorable Robert Bunda
President of the Senate
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 2579 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to create a Pacific Center for Ecosystem Science.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Board of Land and Natural Resources, the Director of the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystem Research Center, Maui Pineapple Company, Ltd., the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, the statewide coordinator of Hawaii's Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species, the Secretariat for Conservation Biology, a Conservation Biologist from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a UH Zoology professor, a Field Supervisor from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, five UH students, and four concerned citizens. The University of Hawaii provided comments.
Your Committee supports the concept of a Pacific Center for Ecosystem Science that would consolidate state, private, university, and federal land management and research organizations in a new world class science center in upper Manoa.
Your Committee finds that the Hawaiian islands have been called the "biological crown jewel" of the United States. Unfortunately, Hawaii's native ecosystems are among the most endangered in the world. Your Committee believes that this project will bring much needed attention to Hawaii's ecosystems.
Your Committee amended this measure to delete sections dictating the composition of the Center's board of directors, to delete the requirement that all state agencies provide cooperation to the Center, to delete the Center's authorization to seek out ways to obtain real property, to delete the appropriation amount, to delete specific references to positions to be created within the University, and to delete specific reference to the amount of matching funds required for the University to receive State funding.
Despite deleting specific position references from this measure, your Committee believes that any funds appropriated by the State to create positions should be allocated as follows:
(1) One FTE position focusing on biocontrol to develop a series of applied research projects to find natural enemies to attack aliens such as Miconia;
(2) One FTE position focusing on big mammals to develop extramurally funded cooperative projects with state, federal, and private organizations to study the populations and basic biology of these species and to make recommendations on their management to land managers;
(3) One FTE position focusing on endangered plants to develop extramurally funded cooperative projects with state, federal, and private organizations to study the populations and basic biology of these endangered plant species and to make recommendations on their management to land managers;
(4) One FTE position focusing on invasive alien weed ecology to develop extramurally funded cooperative projects with state, federal, and private organizations to study the basic biology and control of these invasive species and to develop management methods for land managers; and
(5) One FTE position focusing on disease, to conduct extramurally funded cooperative projects with state, federal, and private organizations to determine which diseases are present, what diseases could become established, and the potential effects.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2579, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2579, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
NORMAN SAKAMOTO, Chair