WAILUKU – The County of Maui, State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be holding a community meeting for area residents who may be affected by the new digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs).
These new maps may impact residential flood risk ratings by changing flood insurance requirements when the DFIRM becomes effective on November 4, 2015. The areas in Maui County that will be affected by these changes are Kihei, Waikapu, Kaunakakai and residents living on the south shore of Molokai.
Residents living in these areas are strongly urged to attend these community meetings so that personnel there can help you determine if you will be affected by the changes, what steps you need to take, how to prepare for potential mandatory insurance requirements and other related matters. The meetings are scheduled as follows:
There will be a short presentation by FEMA on the insurance program which will begin at 2:30 p.m. at both locations. For more information on these public meetings please call either Carolyn Cortez, Avelina Cabais or Chelsea Rabago at the Maui County Planning Department at 270-7253.
WAILUKU – The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) invites the Moloka‘i community and interested parties to an informational meeting concerning a proposed fencing and management project in the Waikolu Valley and Pu‘u Ali‘i Natural Area Reserve areas. The meeting is scheduled for this evening, Monday, June 29, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. in Kalânianaole Hall, 605 Maunaloa Highway , Kâunakakai.
The purpose of the proposed project is to protect the natural resources of the Pu‘u Ali‘i Natural Area Reserve (NAR) while improving hunting opportunities within the Moloka‘i Forest Reserve hunting units. The fence will help to prevent entry of pigs, goats and deer into the NAR and help to prevent erosion into nearshore waters, protect fisheries and water supplies, and conserve native Hawaiian plants and wildlife.
“By placing the fence along the steep ridge of Waikolu Valley we are hoping to reduce the movement of game mammals into the valley and beyond, where they impact natural resources and are less accessible to hunters. So in addition to protecting the sensitive resources of the NAR, we are expecting this fence to improve hunting in the Forest Reserve”, said Scott Fretz, DOFAW Maui District Manager. “We have excellent hunter check station data from those hunting units so we will continue to collect that data and monitor future trends in hunter success”, he added.
James Espaniola, a DOFAW field technician on Molokai, is leading the project. He’s scouting potential fence locations and discussing the proposal with individuals and community groups. “We’ve had several small informational discussions with local groups such as the Aha Kiole and the response has been generally positive, so we would like to hold a larger meeting for anyone who’s interested to learn about this and to share their thoughts with us”.
Pu‘u Ali‘i lies between Pelekunu and Waikolu valleys. Established in 1985, the Pu‘u Ali‘i NAR is a representative portion of the Moloka‘i summit. Its wet plateau supports a diversity of native plants and animals and is an important part of Moloka‘i’s watershed. The fence will run approximately six miles, along the rim of Waikolu and protect just over 2,100 acres.
Anyone requiring special assistance, auxiliary aids or services (i.e. sign language interpreter, wheel chair accessibility, or parking designated for the disabled) please contact the Maui DOFAW NEPM Manager Specialist at (808) 984-8110 to request arrangements, or to Telecommunications Relay Services at 711.
By Jeff King
The Kahakapao Recreational Area (KRA) within Maui’s Makawao State Forest Reserve now has miles of professionally designed and designated mountain biking trails for enthusiasts from across the state and (certainly soon) the world.
The result of several years of work by volunteers, mountain biking associations, contractors and the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Na Ala Hele, the trail system includes a variety of features for riders of all skill levels and ages.
This Saturday, June 6, local and state officials – including newly-named DLNR chief Susan Case – will be on hand to untie the maile lei, officially opening the area to bikers. Understanding that cycling enthusiasts in general, and perhaps mountain bikers in particular, are eager and sometimes impatient, DLNR information officer Dan Dennison’s press release specified that only media will be allowed at the event. And even at that, accredited Maui media are required to contact him directly for directions to the specific location of the event. We’re still fairly sure dozens – if not hundreds – of mountain bikers will successfully sleuth the time and place. After all, the event is billed as a “grand opening.”
Maui TV News will have HD video and images from the event and the trails.
MAKENA, MAUI – At 8:58 a.m. today, Maui firefighters received a call for an unresponsive female pulled from the ocean.
Wailea firefighters arrived at 9:12 a.m. at a popular surf spot known as ‘Dumps’, about a mile south of Oneloa (Big Beach), Makena State Park. Paramedics and Firefighters began lifesaving efforts, however, the woman, a 65-yr-old Kihei resident, did not survive.
Injuries found on the female victim’s upper torso, suggests she was attacked by a shark. So far, there are no reported witnesses of the shark attack. Snorkelers came upon the unresponsive female, floating face down in the water about 200 yards off-shore and pulled her from the water. The victim reportedly was snorkeling with two other friends and at some point separated from the others. She was alone when she was found.
Ocean Safety crews on rescue watercraft cleared the water of swimmers and DLNR officials have closed the waters from Big Beach to La Perouse Bay in South Maui.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has closed Makena State Park and ocean waters from Big Beach to La Perouse light house to swimmers, divers, and other ocean users. This is in response to the fatal shark bite this morning in the Kanahena Cove area of Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers, Division of Aquatic Resources staff, and County lifeguards are on scene to investigate and warn the public. Shark warning signs are being posted. Further details about the incident are pending.
The area will be closed at least until noon tomorrow, at which time officials on the scene will assess the area for reopening.
Details about other recent shark incidents in Hawaii can be found at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/sharks/shark-incidents/incidents-list/
Gov. David Ige has appointed Hawai’i Nature Conservancy Executive Director Suzanne Case to head the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The Senate had granted the governor two days past the Monday deadline to present a nominee. He needed only one.
The governor withdrew his previous nominee, Carleton Ching, three weeks ago amid mounting public opposition over his ties to developers and lack of experience for a job that requires leading a department comprised of 10 divisions and nearly 900 employees.
The Senate must confirm Case’s appointment. Ching’s appointment was rescinded moments before lawmakers were set to vote on March 18.
Instead of announcing the appointment of Case via a news release on a Friday afternoon as he did for Ching, Ige held a press conference this morning in the ceremonial room at the governor’s office with Case at his side — ready to explain why he believes she’s the right person for the job and answer questions from reporters. As late as Saturday, the governor remained tight-lipped about his pick for the job.
Case previously led the Nature Conservancy for 14 years as its state director.
“I really do need to step up here,” she said. “I step up to this service with the deep aloha for Hawaii’s lands and waters.”
The DLNR oversees aquatic resources, boating and recreation, conservation and coastal lands, forestry and wildlife, historic preservation and state lands, including public parks. In all, the department manages 23,000 acres of inland streams, some three million acres of near-shore ocean waters, 410,000 acres of coral reef and two million acres of conservation land.
The Board of Land and Natural Resources oversees the department. The DLNR director also chairs the board.
HONOLULU – The state senate today waived its rule requiring the governor to submit by today the names of his cabinet and board and commission members requiring senate confirmation. The senate extended the deadline until close of business on Wednesday, April 8.
In fact, as late as Saturday, Governor Ige told Maui TV News that he had some candidates in mind – but would continue to keep the door open to additional applicants. He also praised Carty Chang for the job he has done as interim director of the DLNR.
Incidentally, the governor in our Maui TV News interview, also picked Wisconsin over Duke. And that was BEFORE the Wisconsin-Kentucky game had take place.
We’ll have our complete interview with our new governor this week on the broadcast and HD webcast of Maui TV News.
“I thank the senate for understanding the magnitude of this task,” said Governor Ige. “We have hundreds of positions to fill, and we have made significant progress. We expect to fill the majority of the positions in the next two days.”
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