In the days before the opening of the 2013 State legislative season, HISC Council members and partners presented to a variety of legislators in a informational briefing on invasive species hosted by Senator Mike Gabbard, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment. Committee vice chair Senator Russell Ruderman was also in attendance, as were Senators Laura Thielen, Susan Chun-Oakland, Clarence Nishihara, and Representative Dee Morikawa.
HISC members William J. Aila, Jr. (DLNR), Russell Kokubun (HDOA), and Gary Gill (DOH) opened the informational briefing with insight on the difficulty of managing invasive species, which affect the mandates of a variety of state departments. The Council members stressed the importance of providing funding for invasive species prevention and control, which can be costly but ultimately save the State money by avoiding future control costs.
Members of the Senate committee were then addressed by representatives from a variety of conservation agencies and organizations from around the state, including HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Branch, HDOA’s Plant Pest Control Branch, DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the Kauai Watershed Alliance, the Kauai Invasive Species Committee, the Oahu Invasive Species Committee, the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources, the Waianae and Ko‘olau Watershed Partnerships, the Maui Invasive Species Committee, East Maui Watershed Partnership (on behalf of all Maui County Watershed Partnerships), the Big Island Invasive Species Committee, and the Kohala Watershed Partnership (on behalf of all Hawaii County Watershed Partnerships).
Live specimens of invasive species intercepted by HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Branch were on display for legislators and the media.
Photos from the informational briefing: