Proposed Rules and Reasoning
[§13-104-3 Penalty.] §13-104-3 Penalty.
(a) Any person violating any of the provisions of [these rules] this chapter shall be [guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be penalized] subject to penalty as provided by law. All revenues generated from fines or penalties imposed pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the forest stewardship fund. Any equipment, article, instrument, aircraft, vehicle, business record, or natural resource used or taken in violation of the provisions of this chapter may be seized and subject to forfeiture as provided by section 199-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, and chapter 712A, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
(b) Restrictions and prohibitions imposed by this chapter shall not apply to state employees or their agents acting in the scope of their employment while within the forest reserve. Any penalty imposed may take into account emergency situations, such as fire or other disasters or where necessary to protect life or property.
Reasoning for proposed change:
This change expands DLNR’s ability to enforce forest reserve rules by providing more options for enforcement as allowed under the State of Hawaiʻi, and as approved by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. These could include criminal, civil penalties, property seizure and administrative fines. The type of penalty would be dependent on the severity of the violation. Providing this flexibility allows our resource officers (DOCARE) to better do their job of protecting Hawaii’s natural resources. This update brings the forest reserve rules in line with the rules for other Department lands.
The proposed rule change also clarifies where any fines collected due to violations would be deposited to ensure that funds can be directed to the management of the area or natural resource impacted by the violation.
We are clarifying that the restrictions and prohibitions in these rules do not apply to state employees or their agents when acting in the scope of their employment. Types of duties of state employees would include land management activities, camping for management purposes, trail maintenance, driving or accessing closed areas of the forest reserve for natural resource management purposes, among others.
[Strikethrough] – Text proposed for removal. Underline – Text proposed for addition.