STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3730
RE: S.R. No. 69
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.R. No. 69 entitled:
"SENATE RESOLUTION URGING THE DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS TO CONVENE A TASK FORCE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL, AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES TO DEVELOP A COMPREHENSIVE MITIGATION PLAN WITH SHORT AND LONG TERM SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS THE SPREAD OF AND ERADICATE GORSE ON HAWAII ISLAND,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to urge the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to convene a task force with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture, Invasive Species Council, and other interested parties to develop a comprehensive mitigation plan with short and long term solutions to address the spread and eradication of gorse on Hawaii Island and to explore potential commercial opportunities for the use of gorse.
Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and two individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Department of Agriculture.
Your Committees find that gorse, an invasive plant species, is a rapidly spreading blight affecting over twenty percent of the Aina Mauna lands, rendering the affected land nearly useless, and causing potentially irreversible harm to the environment. Gorse seeds remain viable in the soil for up to seventy years, while unmanaged ungulate populations and limited removal efforts continue to allow its spread, creating an ecological crisis that must be addressed with comprehensive short and long term solutions. Your Committees further find that there may be commercial applications in harvesting gorse, including use as feedstock, oils, and biofuel that could be used by energy facilities, as well as the potential for sustainable native forestry operations on the island. This measure urges the convening of a task force, which may help to address the spread of and eradication of gorse on Hawaii island.
Your Committees note that the task force should be open to other groups and stakeholders.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Incorporating changes proposed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 69, as amended herein, and recommend its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.R. No. 69, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Hawaiian Affairs and Agriculture and Environment,
MIKE GABBARD, Chair
MAILE S.L. SHIMABUKURO, Chair