State briefs for January 25

Deer on Maui airport runway prompts more fencing

KAHULUI, Maui (AP) — A reinforced fence has been installed around a Maui airport after a deer blocked a runway earlier this month.


Vinyl fencing now overlaps an existing wood fence surrounding Kahului Airport to prevent deer from squeezing through, Maui District Airports Manager Marvin Moniz told The Maui News.

The added barrier installed for an estimated $100,000 will prevent a “small kitten” from getting through, Moniz said.

Workers also cut brush growing along the fence to make it less appealing for hungry deer, Moniz said.

Tens of thousands of invasive axis deer roam Maui.

At one time, up to 700 axis deer were spotted around the perimeter of the airport fence, Moniz said, but that number has since reduced to about 300 as they move more north seeking greener pastures and water.

Deer herds have also trampled trees and brush around the Molokai Airport.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige recently extended through March 7 an emergency disaster declaration for Maui County so the state can take measures to reduce and control the deer.

Weather conditions and unexpected delays in shipments of materials stalled efforts, prompting the extension, the Maui newspaper reported.

HTA awards environmental, cultural grants

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Tourism Authority has awarded grants to several local environmental and cultural organizations in a bid to preserve natural areas and enhance the role of Native Hawaiians in the industry.

After eliminating grants last year because of pandemic budget constraints, the agency recently awarded more than $3 million through its Kukulu Ola and Aloha ‘Aina grants, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

In partnership with the Hawaii Community Foundation, the Hawaii Tourism Authority distributed money to more than a dozen organizations.

Some of the projects being launched through the funding include the building of a Hawaiian hale, or house, on trust lands on Oahu, the restoration of a traditional fishpond and water system on Maui, and the commissioning of a mural depicting a powerful Native wahine, the Hawaiian word for woman, on Kauai.

The tourism authority is marketing Hawaii as a place where people can come for more sustainable forms of tourism that put an emphasis on local and Indigenous cultures and the restoration or preservation of natural areas.

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