Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 2531

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2020

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Water and Land, to which was referred S.B. No. 2531 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a fund to increase the existing plant stocks, invest in public outreach and renovate the equipment and facilities of the state tree nursery.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, Hawaii Center for Food Safety, Sierra Club of Hawaii, and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Budget and Finance.


Your Committee finds that there is a need to update and expand the resources available to the state tree nursery, including increasing the available selections of tree and plants that provide beneficial functions in agricultural production. This measure establishes a state tree nursery fund to provide funding that will allow for the increase of existing tree stocks. Your Committee heard testimony that there is already an existing program that monies may be appropriated to for the purposes of increasing tree stocks.


Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Removing the establishment of the state tree nursery fund and making conforming amendments;


(2) Clarifying that the appropriation is for the forest stewardship program to use for the following purposes:


(a) To work in collaboration with appropriate stakeholders, including but not limited to the greenhouse gas sequestration taskforce and researchers from the College of Tropical Agriculture, to expand and increase the existing plant stocks of the state tree nursery to include a wider range of native trees and plant species identified by the division of forestry and wildlife to be beneficial in the agricultural setting for improving agricultural productivity and improving soil health;


(b) To invest in renovation and update the equipment and facilities of the state tree nursery to expand its capacity to provide clean planting materials for a variety of public and private projects; and


(c) To invest in public outreach and education regarding the benefits of trees and plants in providing soil health and their appropriate uses in the agricultural setting;


(3) Specifying that the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Service is a consulted stakeholder;


(4) Inserting an effective date of December 31, 2033, to encourage further discussion; and


(5) Making technical nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Water and Land that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2531, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2531, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Water and Land,