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DLNR to conduct animal control in Mauna Kea area

MEDIA RELEASE

HILO — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Kaohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawaii. Aerial shooting is required for compliance with the federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for palila, a bird endemic to Hawaii.

Control schedules are April 16 and 17, May 14 and 15, and June 25 and 26, 2014.

Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Kaohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes on the following dates:

  • 7 a.m. April 16, May 14, and June 25, 2014
  • 6 a.m. April 17, May 15, and June 26, 2014

These actions are pursuant to HAR§ 13-130-19 and § 13-104-23(a) (3). The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open. The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, both the Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea State Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows:

  • Locked 7 p.m. April 15, 2014, and reopened 7 p.m. April 17, 2014
  • Locked 7 p.m. May 13, 2014, and reopened 7 p.m. May 15, 2014
  • Locked 7 p.m. June 24, 2014, and reopened 7 p.m. June 26, 2014

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

Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at (808) 887- 6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. April 9, 2014, to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only. Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in. A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Pu’u Koohi location and 10 permitted vehicles at the Kaluamakani location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicle are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On April 16, May 14, and June 25, 2014, at Pu’u Koohi. Permittees must meet at Mauna Kea State Park at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On April 17, May 15, and June 26, 2014, at Kaluamakani. Permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road at 6 a.m. sharp.

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.

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