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Areas on Mauna Kea closing for aerial animal control shooting, public offered game shot

MEDIA RELEASE

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Department of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii, will conduct animal control activities, specifically aerial shooting from helicopters, within Palila Critical habitat in the Mauna kea Forest Reserve and Kaohe Game Management Area on the island of Hawaii for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids.

Control schedules are as follows: August 4 and 5, 2009.

Public access to the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, the Kaohe Game Management Area, and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted, and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY, pursuant to HAR § 13-130-19 and § 13-104-23(a)(3), from 7:00 a.m. August 4, 2009 until 7:00 p.m. August 5, 2009. The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open.

Aerial shooting is required for compliance with Federal Court Order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from palila critical habitat. The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely allow completion of the animal control activities. To implement the closure, gates at the Kilohana Hunter Checking Station and Hale Pohaku entrance to Unit A will be locked at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 3, 2009.

Copies of the map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at Division of Forestry and Wildlife offices.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicle required and access permits will be issued).

1) On August 4, 2009, at Ahumoa. Public must meet at the Kilohana Checking Station at 7:00 a.m. sharp.
2) On August 4, 2009, at Puu Koohi. Public must meet at the Mauna kea State Park at 7:00 a.m. sharp.
3) On August 5, 2009, at Kaluamakani. Public must meet at the Hawaiian Homes Hall in Waimea at 6:30 a.m. sharp. Due to private property access there will be a limit of 10 vehicles.

Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.

DLNR Legal Notice

One Response to “Areas on Mauna Kea closing for aerial animal control shooting, public offered game shot”

  1. Laurel says:

    I commend the Division of Forestry and Wildlife for providing public access to salvage some/all of the carcasses. I whole heartedly agree with actively limiting animal populations for responsible habitat management, and have no qualms with hunting, shooting, or eating sheep and goats.

    However, I hope that, eventually, a less stressful method might be used to harvest these animals. I wonder how hunting, as practiced by most sportsmen and women, and shooting from a helicopter can even be compared. I am not familiar with this area, so perhaps there is a valid reason “aerial shooting” is a necessary evil in this case. I also don’t know the details of this aerial shooting, so it is entirely possible it is done with respect and as humanely as possible. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Too often, when helicopters are used, it is to harass animals for spot before they are shot, not honest habitat management.

    All that said, I want to express my appreciation that the carcasses with be put to use!

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