NARS Commission

Agendas and minutes for NARS Commission meetings are posted on the State of Hawaiʻi eCalendar.

To View older agendas and minutes, visit the NARS Meeting Archives.

The Natural Area Reserves System (NARS) Commission members act in an advisory capacity for the Board of Land and Natural Resources, which sets policies for the Department.

Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §195-6  contains rules that govern the membership, procedures, and administrative details of the commission, as follows:

There shall be a natural area reserves system commission, hereinafter called the “commission”.  The commission shall consist of thirteen members who shall be appointed in the manner and serve for the term set in section 26-34.  Six of the members of the commission shall be persons possessing scientific qualifications as evidenced by an academic degree in wildlife or marine biology, botany, forestry, ecology, resource management, biogeography, zoology, or geology; one member shall be a person possessing membership in a hiking organization organized in the State; one member shall be a person possessing membership in a hunting organization organized in the State; and one member shall be a person possessing a background in native Hawaiian traditional and customary practices.  The chairperson of the board of land and natural resources, the director of the office of planning, the chairperson of the board of agriculture and the president of the University of Hawaii, or their designated representatives, shall serve as ex officio[,] voting members.  The governor shall appoint the chairperson from one of the appointed members of the commission.  The members shall receive no compensation for their services on the commission but shall be entitled to reimbursement for necessary expenses while attending meetings and while in the discharge of their duties.’

Hawai‘i Revised Statutes §195-7 outlines the  powers and duties of the commission:

The commission shall:

(1)  Establish criteria to be used in determining whether an area is suitable for inclusion with the reserves system;

(2)  Conduct studies of areas for possible inclusion within the reserves system;

(3)  Recommend to the governor and the department areas suitable for inclusion within the reserves system;

(4)  Establish policies and criteria regarding the management, protection, and permitted uses of areas which are part of the reserves system;

(5)  Advise the governor and the department on any matter relating to the preservation of Hawai‘i’s unique natural resources;

(6)  Develop ways and means of extending and strengthening presently established preserves, sanctuaries, and refuges within the State;

(7)  Advise the department and other public agencies managing state-owned land or natural resources regarding areas under their respective jurisdictions which are or may be appropriate for designation as natural area reserves; and

(8)  In carrying out the above duties, consult the most comprehensive up-to-date compilation of scientific data on the communities of natural flora and fauna of Hawaii. [L 1970, c 139, pt of §1; am L 1987, c 350, §5]

For details of current commission members, please contact Betsy Gagne, Executive Secretary of the NARS Commission at (808) 587-0063 or via email.