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    June 2016
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Animal Control Activities and Temporary Closure Planned at Mauna Kea Forest Reserve

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities on Hawaii island on designated dates in July and September.


These planned activities are specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters of feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids.

These activities will take place within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), as well as in the Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), Palila Mitigation Lands, and the Kaohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawaii.

Aerial shooting is required for compliance with the federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for palila, a bird endemic to Hawaii.

Control schedule dates are July 5 and 6, and September 20 and 21, 2016.  Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, Palila Mitigation Lands, the Kaohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes on the following dates:

  • 7 a.m. July 5, and September 20, 2016
  • 6 a.m. July 6, and September 21, 2016

These actions are pursuant to Hawaii Administrative Rules Chapters 13-130-19 and 13-104-23(a) (3). The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open.  The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, both the Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea State Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows:

  • Locked 7 p.m. July 4, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. July 6, 2016
  • Locked 7 p.m. September 19, 2016, and reopened 7 p.m. September 21, 2016

Copies of the map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office.

Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. June 29, 2016, to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only.

Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in.  A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Ahumoa location and 15 permitted vehicles at the Pu’u Mali location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following locations (4-wheel drive vehicle are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On July 5, and September 20, 2016, at Ahumoa. Permittees must meet at Kilohana Hunter Check Station at 7 a.m. sharp.
  • On July 6, and September 21, 2016 at Pu’u Mali. Permittees must meet across from the Waimea Veterinary office on Mana Road at 6 a.m. sharp.

Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.

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