Kauai Fencing Projects
Why Put Up A Fence?
Did you know 98% of DLNR land in Kaua‘i is open to hunting? Although the remaining 2% has been fenced, it is for good reason. We are working to improve ecosystem and watershed integrity in these areas, which will benefit all outdoor recreationists.
Even though public hunting in these areas has been occurring for decades, hooved animal populations remain out of control. Fencing is a proven way to stop hooved animals from damaging native forests and to allow recovery of native plants and animals.
Proposed Fence Areas
Existing fenced areas are primarily in wet forests deep in the remote Alakai, and almost no mesic or dryland forests are protected. Every day, more forest is being lost to wild goats, deer, and pigs which roam across the island.What is left of much of Kauai’s native forest is quickly being eaten and trampled by hooved animals. Soon, it could disappear forever. DLNR plans to erect fencing constructed of hog wire or panels designed to keep out goats, pigs, and black tailed deer. Gates and step-overs will be constructed which will allow public access.In certain remote areas, small predator proof fences will be built to provide safe places for endangered seabirds to nest. Similar predator proof fences have been built at Kīlauea Point. Public access will be restricted in this small area to prevent trampling of seabird nests.
Hooved animals (goats, black-tailed deer, cattle, and pigs) are an integral part of much of the lands that DLNR-DOFAW manages, but in some limited areas their populations must be controlled or restricted. For example, in certain areas they are eating extremely rare plants or ground-nesting seabirds, thereby threatening to cause the extinction of these species. Many rare plants and birds with enormous significance to the native Hawaiian culture have recently gone extinct on Kauaʻi due to hooved animals. In other cases, the populations are so high that the previously forested areas have been eaten and trampled and are now barren dirt, causing erosion, increased landslides and rockfalls. This loss of forest is also problematic because the forest plants capture and purify fresh drinking water supplies.
Additionally, greenhouse gases are emitted when plants are consumed, worsening climate change. In other places, irreplaceable native Hawaiian archeological sites are being toppled by goats and pigs. While DLNR-DOFAW’s first approach to control hooved animals is by using public hunting when safe, feasible, and effective, there are also additional areas where hooved animal control may need to occur by staff. Many locations on Kaua’i are too remote and steep for public hunting, so other tools such as fencing and staff control is needed. It is essential that we work to preserve these forests since they integral to Hawaiian culture and represent economically important visitor attractions.
Furthermore, DLNR is working to provide an additional 5,600 acres of hunting land in the future (an increase of 5%). Although we propose a 6% increase in fenced areas, DLNR are providing new hunting areas at a rate that exceeds new fenced areas. There is now more hunting land available than ever, while most of the fenced areas are in highly inaccessible locations, such as Waialeale.