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With 75,000 acres of Hawai‘i island ʻōhiʻa forest now showing symptoms of the fungal disease known as Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death, federal and state agencies and non-profit partners are using an array of high technology to detect its spread. “The battle against the two types of Ceratocystis fungus that causes Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death has always been a hugely collaborative effort,” said Rob Hauff, State Protection Forester for the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). “Now,” Hauff explained, “the collaboration between the agencies and organizations engaged in the fight against this devastating disease not only continues, but is expanding, particularly on the detection front.” Early detection is considered critical in helping to identify Rapid ‘Ōhiʻa Death’s spread on the Big Island and to other islands and to provide data and scientific information to aide researchers working hard to find a way to stop it.

With tens of thousands of people lining the banks of Magic Island and more on shorelines, sidewalks, piers and docks there were no reported incident in the water during the four-hour-long parade of wa'a leading to the Hōkūleʻa’s temporary overnight mooring off Magic Island. Hundreds of others in canoes then greeted the vessel as it was being tied up. A months-long, highly coordinated effort between federal, state, and city and county law enforcement and water safety agencies ensured the trouble and injury-free homecoming.

The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) launched the new app to help people connect directly with conservation officers, view alerts, and submit anonymous tips from smartphones. It is an important extension of the agencies DLNR & You brand.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources today assessed a fine of $15,000 for three violations by lava tour boat operator Shane Turpin (dba Kohala Tours) for conducting commercial activity from a state boating facility without a required commercial use ramp permit, in violation of boating administrative rule, HAR 13-231-51.

During a ceremony here today, Noah Gomes was honored with the second DLNR Citizen Conservationist award. Gomes, a Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park ranger is known here as someone who perpetuates Hawaiian culture in his interactions with visitors and always demonstrates the spirit of Aloha.

A north shore wildfire burning uphill today toward the state Mokule‘ia Forest Reserve and Pahole Natural Area Reserve may put significant natural resources and endangered species at risk. A crew of 14 DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) firefighters with two water tank trucks and helicopter dip tanks has responded to a fire in the Mokule‘ia area, located east of the Mokuleia Forest Reserve access road and west of Kaala road. The Honolulu Fire Department and Honolulu Police Department personnel are is on scene with two helicopters doing water drops. DOFAW has contracted two type 3 helicopters and a type 1 helicopter for water drops.

Taking a cue from the successful impact of oysters on water quality in places like the East Coast’s Chesapeake Bay, the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Kualoa Ranch are conducting a study to see how oysters might positively impact the water of Oahu’s iconic Pearl Harbor.

For more than 100 years there has been no known Hawaiian name for the endangered forest bird now commonly called the Hawaiʻi Creeper (Loxops mana). But Noah Gomes, a recent graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo with a masters degree in Hawaiian language and literature, recently put forth convincing evidence that he had rediscovered the true Hawaiian name for this species. Today, Hawaiian researchers, wildlife managers and elected representatives joined in a naming ceremony to honor this distinctive bird, in the Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR) where the ‘Alawī resides.

An analysis of long-term radar studies on Kaua‘i has revealed massive declines in populations of the island’s two endangered seabirds, the Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP) announced today. The study, due to be published online in the scientific journal Condor on June 5th, shows that between 1993 and 2013 populations of the ‘A‘o (Newell’s Shearwater) declined by 94% and Ua‘u (Hawaiian Petrel) by 78%.

Work to restore the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park to its true wilderness character continued during a three-day law enforcement operation this week. A dozen officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) and the Dept. of Public Safety’s Sheriff Division arrested eleven people for being in a closed area without a permit in the Kalalau area of the park. A twenty-year-old man, who could not produce an identification, was handcuffed and flown out of the park and booked on charges at the Kaua‘i Police Department. So far in May, a total of 28 people have been arrested for failing to have the permit required for traveling past the two-mile marker on the famed Kalalau Trail. During law enforcement efforts over the past two years more than 200 people have been arrested.

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