Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, September 12, 2019
DLNR: Protesters Rip Out Last Examples of Endangered Plants
By News Release @ 4:53 PM :: 2718 Views :: Hawaii County , Environment, Greenmail, Higher Education, OHA


News Release from DLNR, September 12, 2019

(Honolulu) – The DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) is investigating the possible destruction of four, endangered Hawaiian ʻānunu vines in the Mauna Loa Forest Reserve on the backside of Pu‘u Huluhulu.  This is where thousands of protesters have been illegally blocking Mauna Kea Access Road since mid-July. In addition to the alleged cutting of these vines, DOCARE officers found evidence that other rare plants have been trampled, either inadvertently or intentionally.

“The destruction of the ʻānunu vine is particularly disturbing, since there may be only five populations of this species still in existence,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case. ʻĀnunu is federally listed as an endangered plant and under the Hawai‘i Natural Heritage Ranking it is considered critically imperiled.

Rare and endangered plants were out-planted on State Land by natural resource teams from federal agencies which manage threatened and endangered species in the area. The ʻānunu vine is naturally occurring, but the restoration efforts help it to thrive. The damaged vines were not cut in the out-planting section but one other threatened or endangered species of imperiled plants were stepped on there. Federal officials are also concerned about access to national wildlife refuge and the potential impacts to endangered Hawaiian goose (nēnē) management efforts as the breeding season begins.

While protest leaders have taken steps to restrict access to the top of Pu‘u Huluhulu cinder cone, DOCARE estimates as many as 2,400 people have been around Pu‘u Huluhulu at any given time, for the past seven weeks. DOCARE Officer Edwin Shishido and another officer hiked to the out-planting area on August 21st and discovered that four ʻānunu vines appeared to have been cut or ripped from koa trees.

“An unmarked, ‘social’ trail led into the area, and two other federally and state listed endangered plants were laying across the trail indicating they’d been recently trampled,” Shishido said. The plants appear to have recovered.

“This area of Pu‘u Huluhulu was specifically set aside to propagate these native Hawaiian plants,” explained Lyman Perry, a botanist with the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). “It’s difficult to establish a viable population of these extremely rare plants, to keep them from facing extinction, so the PTA out-planting area was picked for the very reason that it saw little to no human impact,” Perry added.

In addition to negative impacts to plants from thousands of people being in the area, there’s evidence that just the sheer number of people is adversely impacting animals and insects.

Ian Cole, DOFAW’s East Hawai‘i Wildlife Manager said there are anecdotal reports that Hawai‘i’s State Bird, the nēnē, are avoiding the immediate area around the protest site. Cole explained, “We have reports that nēnē are avoiding landing around Mauna Kea Access Road and Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road). It’s not surprising that they’re looking for different foraging areas…there are too many people around for their comfort.  This area was likely one of their flyway resting areas.”

Even the smallest of creatures are potentially being impacted by the nearly two-month long protest action.  Entomologists report that the endemic Hawaiian wolf spider, which inhabits the area’s lava fields, is possibly being forced out of its natural habitat due to the large number of people camping and walking in the area.  Previously researchers noted that the spider moved away from the location of a hale built by protesters at Halepōhaku, about six miles from the current protest location. They recorded a decline in the number of spiders and an increase in invasive insects.

Chair Case remarked, “Early on in this protest we warned about potential impacts to endangered species from off-trail activities.  Intentional or not, it’s happening, and it’s very concerning.  You just can’t have thousands of people in sensitive natural areas like Puʻu Huluhulu without this kind of harm resulting.  DLNR’s mission is to protect these species, and our staff is passionate about doing so, and it’s sad to see this now.”


Response: Protesters Cancel 'Guided Educational Walks' (ooops!)

Video: DLNR News Conference

BIVN: State Raises Puʻuhuluhulu Impact Concerns, Kanaka Rangers Respond

HTH: DLNR: Protest might be harming endangered plants 

KITV: DLNR says the only way to mitigate the problem is for people to leave the area. 

HTH: DLNR: Endangered vines destroyed at protest site


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute


Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii


DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group


Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii



National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii


SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii