Saturday, Dec. 02, 2023|
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I am writing you in attempt to call into question an incredibly unwise Department of Land and Natural Resources practice that may have led to the deaths of so many in Maui and the loss of a huge piece of Hawaii’s heritage.
The DLNR has a foolish practice of stopping people from removing invasive plants from their conservation lands. I own conservation property that is near my home, and on that land there are a large number of invasives, especially understory vines that are a serious fire danger.
When I contacted the DLNR to ask about clearing the invasives that were near my home, they were shockingly nasty, and they refused to let me do anything to fix the situation.
This refusal to allow landowners to engage in responsible forestry seems to be a statewide policy, set by an unwisely managed state agency that snarls “No” to everything, even when doing so harms others.
The DLNR seems to fit the description of a rogue agency that has abandoned its original mission of promoting and enforcing responsible forestry.
Did their foolish practices mean that Maui landowners were forced to leave dead grasses and trees in place on conservation land during a dry period?
We need better and wiser people with the ability to stick to a mission statement and engage in practices that don’t kill people and destroy Hawaiian heritage. There needs to be a serious review of the leadership there and, quite frankly, I believe that we need to clean house at the DLNR.
I am furious! I honestly believe that the DLNR is at least partly responsible for the severity of the Maui fires and how quickly they spread. I believe that lives were lost because of this.
There needs to be public discussion about the DLNR’s role in the Maui fires.
The Maui fire is a wake-up call. The emergency access road in Waikoloa must be improved to allow sufficient cars to exit the village.
The existing road is not adequate to allow over the 8,000 residents to safely exit in a timely manner. The road must graded and expanded so we can safely leave our homes.
I implore the Waikoloa Village Association and Hawaii County to expedite this project to avoid a repeat of the Maui disaster.
Donald R. Stiger
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