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DLNR Schedules Closures for July 5 & 6

July 4, 2016, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated July 1, 11:17 AM
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Feral sheep like the one shown above, and feral-mouflon hybrids, are the targets of an eradication effort designed to protect the habitat of the endangered palila. NPS file photo.

Feral sheep like the one shown above, and feral-mouflon hybrids, are the targets of an eradication effort designed to protect the habitat of the endangered palila. NPS file photo.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife will conduct animal control activities on Hawai‘i Island on designated dates in July and September.

Control schedule dates are July 5 and 6, and Sept. 20 and 21, 2016. 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.

The areas will be locked at 7 p.m. July 4 and reopened at 7 p.m. July 6.

In September, the areas will be locked at 7 p.m. on the 19th and reopened at 7 p.m. on the 21st.

These planned activities are specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting and/or aerial shooting from helicopters of feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids.

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These activities will take place within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), as well as in the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Kaohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawai‘i.

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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.

These actions are pursuant to Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapters 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:

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.

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Salvage locations are subject to change:

· On July 5, and Sept. 20, at Ahumoa. Permittees must meet at Kilohana Hunter Check Station at 7 a.m. sharp.

· On July 6, and Sept. 21, at Pu’u Mali. 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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