HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

155

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

urging state law enforcement entities, including the Department of the Attorney General, Sheriff Division of the Department of Public Safety, and Harbors Division of the Department of Transportation, to collaborate with the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement of the department of land and natural resources to support its mission in this time of need.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement of the Department of Land and Natural Resources is responsible for enforcement activities of the Department, including enforcement of all state laws and rules involving state lands, state parks, historic sites, forest reserves, aquatic life, wildlife areas, coastal zones, conservation districts, and state shores, as well as county ordinances involving county parks; and

 

WHEREAS, the mission of the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement is to uphold the laws that serve to protect, conserve, and manage Hawaii's unique and limited natural, cultural, and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of residents of, and visitors to, Hawaii nei; and

 

WHEREAS, although the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement's jurisdiction covers state-owned lands from the mountains to three miles offshore, the Division only employs about one hundred officers statewide; and

 

WHEREAS, the State's natural resources are sacred and must be protected in a manner that will allow them to be preserved for the benefit and enjoyment of generations to come; and

 

WHEREAS, as a focal industry for the State, tourism is largely dependent on the availability and sustainability of the State's natural resources; and

WHEREAS, many of the lands managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources are closed to the public as a result of illegal dumping, pallet burning, illegal camping, vandalism, and other acts that violate state laws and rules; and

 

WHEREAS, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, news releases have been issued regarding various abuses of the State's natural resources, including illegal gatherings at Kaena Point State Park on Oahu, with reports of illegal drinking, littering, beach bonfires, burning of rubber tires, and illegal campers at the Makua-Keawaula and Mokuleia sections of the park; the lighting of Christmas tree bonfires at Ahu O Laka; an unauthorized excavation at Polihale on Kauai, where extensive subsurface cultural resources, including burials, are located; and vandals cutting through fencing erected at Makena State Park on Maui to keep people away from Puu Olai because of large beach parties that were being held during the pandemic; and

 

WHEREAS, at Pokai Bay, boats illegally harbored close to shore have dumped their sewage into the water and previously ignored requests to vacate, while offshore of Kawaihae in Hawaii County, aquarium fish were illegally harvested; and

 

WHEREAS, these areas all fall under the jurisdiction of the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, but because the Division is understaffed, there is a lack of enforcement presence; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Land and Natural Resources has closed certain access points to Keawaula and Kaena Point State Park; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, that this body urges other state law enforcement entities, including the Department of the Attorney General, Sheriff Division of the Department of Public Safety, and Harbors Division of the Department of Transportation, to collaborate with the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement of the Department of Land and Natural Resources to support its mission in this time of need; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, Attorney General, Director of Public Safety, and Director of Transportation.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

DOCARE; DLNR; Law Enforcement; Attorney General; Department of Public Safety; Department of Transportation.