Hawaii News

Public invited to comment about proposed rule changes to state forest stewardship program

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The Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife invites the public to comment on proposed changes to rules establishing forest stewardship in the state.

The state’s Forest Stewardship Program provides technical advice as well as financial assistance on a cost-share basis so private landowners can more effectively manage, protect and restore important natural resources on their properties.

The proposed changes will:

  • Allow long-term leaseholders (10 years minimum) to participate in the program.
  • Increase state cost-share support for the development of program management plans on private lands from 50% to 75%.
  • Allow lands managed for non-timber forest products to qualify for the program.
  • Allow financial support for portions of management plan implementation.
  • Modernize eligibility criteria related to native forest management so a broader set of landowners can participate in the program.

The proposed amendments will also allow greater flexibility for applicants to match state cost-share support with non-state financial assistance programs, including federal, county and/or private programs.

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Additional amendments include changes to the duties of the Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee, clarification on applicant eligibility requirements and the approval process for landowners and modifications to eligible forest management practices.

Comments can be provided online, via email to [email protected] or by mail at Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Attn: Forest Stewardship Program, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813.

Comments must be received or postmarked no later than March 29.

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Testimony can also be provided in person during a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. March 13 at the Kalanimoku Building in Honolulu. Attendees can also join the meeting remotely and testify online or via telephone.

Registration for remote attendance can be done online. If you do not receive an email with a Zoom link, email [email protected] for assistance.

Register at least one hour before the hearing to ensure you receive the Zoom link on time.

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