01/25/16 – DLNR to Conduct Animal Control Activities At Mauna Kea Forest Lands, Temporary Closure of Forest, Game Management Areas Involved

Posted on Jan 25, 2016 in Forestry & Wildlife, News Releases

News Release


For Immediate News Release January 25, 2016   

Temporary closure of forest, game management areas involved

HILO — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawai‘i. 

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.

Control schedules dates are February 10 and 11, and May, 4 and 5, 2016.  There will be no closure for May 3, 2016, but DOFAW will be collaring animals.  Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for public animal salvage purposes on the following dates:  

  • 7 a.m. February 10, and May 4, 2016
  • 6 a.m. February 11, and May 5, 2016

These actions are pursuant to HAR§ 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: 

  • Locked 7 p.m. February 9, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. February 11, 2016
  • Locked 7 p.m. May 3, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. May 5, 2016

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 Hawai‘i island offices. 

Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. February 3, 2016, to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only. 

Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in. 

A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Ahumoa location and 15 permitted vehicles at the Pu‘u Mali location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicle are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On February 10, and May 4, 2016, at Ahumoa. Permittees must meet at Kilohana hunter check station at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On February 11, and May 5, 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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Media Contact:

Deborah Ward
DLNR Communications specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320