Public Napu’u Conservation Project Meetings Scheduled
Two public hearings will be held by the Department of Land and Natural Resources on the Napu’u Conservation Project Draft Habitat Conservation Plan for Game Management at Pu’u Wa’awa’a and Pu’u Anahulu during the month of March.
Meetings will be held to receive public testimony on the draft on March 1 at Auntie Sally’s Luau Hale in Hilo and on March 7 at the West Hawai’i Civic Center’s Community Hale in West Hawai’i. Both meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Land in the the Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve and the Pu‘u Anahulu Game Management Area in North Kona are managed by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
Current land management in the Pu‘u Anahulu Game Management Area is primarily for maintenance of non-native game mammal populations for hunting, in addition to conservation of native habitat.
Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve is a multi-use area where management includes game population maintenance for hunting, natural resource conservation and restoration, and other activities, such as cattle grazing and trail use.
The habitat conservation plan is intended to consider and mitigate the potential impacts from game mammal management activities on endangered species within the Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a and Pu‘u Anahulu areas.
The anticipated life of the project is 25 years. Prior to the expiration of the 25-year period, DOFAW plans to evaluate whether to pursue an extension of the incidental take license.
DOFAW has prepared a draft Habitat Conservation Plan in consultation with staff and local experts for authorization and issuance of an incidental take license for incidental take of endangered species associated with game management activities.
The draft HCP was published in the Nov. 8, 2015 Office of Environmental Quality and Control’s Environmental Notice.
The purpose of the draft HCP is to mitigate for potential impacts to the threatened and endangered species found in the project area.
According to DLNR, it is anticipated that game management activities have the potential to result in the incidental take of one animal species, Blackburn’s sphinx moth (Manduca blackburni), as well as 15 state and federally listed plant species: Asplenium peruvianum var. insulare, Hala pepe (Chrysodracon hawaiiensis), Kauila (Colubrina oppositifolia), Honohono (Haplostachys haplostachya), Ma‘o hau hele (Hibiscus brackenridgei ssp.brackenridgei), Koki‘o (Kokia drynarioides), Neraudia ovata, ‘Aiea (Nothocestrum breviflorum), Uhiuhi (Mezoneuron kavaiense) Po‘e (Portulaca sclerocarpa), Hawaiian Catchfly (Silene lanceolata), Pōpolo kū mai (Solanum incompletum), Creeping Mint (Stenogyne angustifolia), A‘e (Zanthoxylum dipetalum var. tomentosum), and A‘e (Zanthoxylum hawaiiense).
Potential negative impacts on these listed plant species are primarily in the form of take from grazing, browsing, and trampling associated with the management of game mammals and cattle in the project area.
Potential impacts to Blackburn’s sphinx moth larvae and eggs are from the clearing and maintenance of fuel breaks and four-wheel drive access roads.
No other listed, proposed, or candidate plant or animal species are anticipated to be taken by project activities, according to DLNR. The HCP outlines provisions for net benefit to the covered species and environment and contributes to the recovery of each of the species.
Copies of the draft HCP are available for review at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife offices in Honolulu and Hilo, as well as a link provided in the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s Nov. 8, 2015 issue of the Environmental Notice, and copies will be available at the public hearing.
Anyone who plans to attend the hearing and requires auxiliary aids should request assistance by contacting the DOFAW by calling (808) 587-0166.
Comments can also be mailed by March 7.