THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

69

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 


WHEREAS, the Āina Mauna lands on Hawaii island include over fifty thousand acres of the State's most pristine environments, representing the natural beauty of the islands and holding significant value for native and endemic species, as well as for Hawaiian culture; and

 

WHEREAS, an invasive plant species, gorse, is a rapidly spreading blight affecting over twenty percent of the Āina Mauna lands, rendering the affected land nearly useless, and causing what could be irreversible harm to the environment, which could potentially create a devastating ecological disaster if not immediately addressed; and

 

WHEREAS, gorse seeds remain viable in the soil for up to seventy years, while unmanaged ungulate populations and limited removal efforts continue to spread the invasive plant species, creating an ecological crisis that must be addressed with comprehensive short and long term solutions; and

 

WHEREAS, 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; and

 

WHEREAS, due to lack of resources and long term strategy, the response by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands thus far has been limited, and gorse is continuing to spread and ravage the Āina Manua lands; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2020, that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is urged 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

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force will leverage all county, state, and federal agencies to address the problem and explore potential commercial opportunities, such as the use in biofuel, feedstock, and oils that would help address the issue; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the task force is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2021; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture, Hawaii Invasive Species Council Program Supervisor, and Mayors of each county.

Report Title:

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands; Gorse; Invasive Species; Task Force