Categorized | Food, Hunting, News

Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Kaohe GMA to close temporarily for aerial shooting (Feb 21-22)

MEDIA RELEASE

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Department of Land and Natural Resources will conduct animal control activities, specifically aerial shooting from helicopters, within Palila Critical Habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A) and Kaohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawaii for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids.

Control schedules are as follows: February 21-22, 2012. Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Kaohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted, and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes, pursuant to HAR §13-130-19 and §13-104-23(a)(3), from 7:00 a.m. February 21, 2012 until 7:00 p.m. February 22, 2012. The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open.

Aerial shooting is required for compliance with the Federal Court Order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from Palila Critical Habitat. 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 will be locked at 7:00 p.m. February 20, 2012 and reopen 7:00 p.m. February 22, 2012. 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 Kamuela Office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m., February 13, 2012, through 10 a.m., February 17, 2012. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only. Caller must be driver of the permitted vehicle. A standby list will be created for each shoot day that has reached maximum capacity. This is to replace permittees that dropout until 10 a.m. February 17, 2012. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed in. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in. A maximum of 25 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Ahumoa 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 required and access permits will be issued).

  1. On February 21, 2012 at Ahumoa. Permittees must meet at the Kilohana Checkstation at 7:00 a.m. sharp.
  2. On February 22, 2012 at Kaluamakani. Permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road 6:00 a.m. sharp.

Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063

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