THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2531

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to forestry.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that under the Hawaii sustainability initiative, the State of Hawaii has committed to integrated sustainability goals, including increasing the State's climate resiliency, as well as supporting and increasing local food production.

The legislature finds that numerous sources, both internationally and nationally, have recognized the importance of healthy soils as a critical resource for supplying food security, diverse habitats, water storage, and climate resiliency. For example, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and nations around the world, including the United States Department of Agriculture, celebrated 2015 as the International Year of Soils to highlight the necessity of healthy soil for food security and ecosystem resilience against climate change. Similarly, recognizing the importance of healthy soil to climate resiliency and food security, many states around the country have launched initiatives to incentive building soil organic matter and improving soil health.

The legislature finds that trees have an important function in improving soil health and building climate-resiliency for Hawaii's environment, including its agricultural landscapes. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, has identified agroforestry as a unique land management approach that intentionally blends agriculture and forestry to enhance productivity, profitability, and environmental stewardship.

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the strategic planting of trees in agriculture landscapes may increase crop yield, improve soil health, provide habitat for wildlife, and provide a variety of other benefits.

The division of forestry and wildlife of the department of land and natural resources manages a state tree nursery that aims to provide high quality native, endangered and windbreak trees and plants for the public and department of land and natural resources plantings and reforestation projects.

The legislature further 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.

The purpose of this Act is to increase the availability of tree stocks for agroforestry and soil health in the State by expanding the tree and plant stock available to the public through the state tree nursery.

SECTION 2. Chapter 195F-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"(c) There is to be established within the department of land and natural resources a state tree nursery special fund for the following purposes:

(1) Working in collaboration with appropriate stakeholders, including but not limited to the greenhouse gas sequestration taskforce and researchers from the College of Tropical Agriculture, 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;

(2) 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

(3) 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."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 to be deposited into the state tree nursery special fund.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the state tree nursery special fund the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2020-2021 for the state tree nursery.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

SECTION 6. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2020.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Soil Health; Forestry; Plant; State Tree Nursery; DLNR

 

Description:

Establishes a fund to increase the existing plant stocks, invest in public outreach and renovate the equipment and facilities of the state tree nursery.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.