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Hawaii’s Tropical Forest Recovery Act

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GUIDING CONCEPT 1: Working Relationships
RECOMMENDATION 1: Using a partnership-based, ecosystem management approach, develop a comprehensive management, protection, and utilization strategy for the forest resources of Hawaii.
RECOMMENDATION 2: Develop and conduct a balanced and objective information program that addresses all aspects of Hawaii’s forests and incorporates Hawaiian concepts, such as ahupua’a-based stewardship and information about native Hawaiian rights, through an information office that provides support and guidance to existing and new environmental education programs.


GUIDING CONCEPT 2: Traditional and Community Use
RECOMMENDATION 3: Establish a sensitivity towards the rights, responsibilities, and practices of the indigenous culture of Hawaii.
RECOMMENDATION 4: Determine community forest practices and uses. Identify and implement forest management practices to meet local community needs.


GUIDING CONCEPT 3: Stewardship of the Forest
RECOMMENDATION 5: Expand existing programs to prevent the entry of new invasive, introduced species and increase active management to reduce forest damage by established introduced pests in key forest areas, such as essential forest bird habitat and natural areas with high native ecosystem values, while maintaining healthy game populations in other forest areas.
RECOMMENDATION 6: Protect and restore native forest ecosystems through adequate support of existing state, federal, and private organizations’ natural resource programs in an effort to contribute to healthy forest ecosystems and the recovery of plant and animal species listed as threatened and endangered.
RECOMMENDATION 7: Expand research and support for comprehensive game management efforts to enhance hunting opportunities.
RECOMMENDATION 8: Establish koa and other hardwood reforestation projects on formerly forested lands to restore a full range of values and purposes, from commercial forests to natural ecosystems.
RECOMMENDATION 9: Emphasize stewardship of non-federal rural and urban forests through direct technical and financial assistance and management measures designed to keep Hawaii’s forests in a healthy, sustainable condition.
RECOMMENDATION 10: Utilize existing fire management expertise in a coordinated effort to share knowledge and resources for prevention, pre-suppression and suppression, and vegetation management activities. Enhance existing fire suppression capabilities, including private sector resources.
RECOMMENDATION 11: Make necessary amendments to the Hawaii’s endangered species act to allow responsible reforestation and long-term stewardship of native forests on public and private lands, increase compatibility with the existing federal endangered species act, and encourage regional habitat conservation planning.


RECOMMENDATION 12: Amend Hawaii’s tree farm law to acknowledge the right to harvest a forest resource created by private investment and landowners who have agreed to practice responsible forestry, based on an approved management plan.
RECOMMENDATION 13: County governments should develop a fair and equitable property tax assessment for forest lands that recognizes the economic potential and other public benefits from expansion and enhanced management of Hawaii’s forests.


GUIDING CONCEPT 5: Training and Education
RECOMMENDATION 14: Establish a program to develop and train qualified professionals, technicians, and vocational specialists capable of leading Hawaii’s agencies and communities in a partnership to manage, protect, and use Hawaii’s forests.
RECOMMENDATION 15: Establish and operate a Center for Tropical Forests that will respond to information, research, demonstration, education, training, and outreach needs associated with the restoration and perpetuation of forests in Hawaii.


GUIDING CONCEPT 6: Research and Demonstration
RECOMMENDATION 16: Enhance, expand, and integrate capabilities of all research programs focused on conservation and resource management. More integrated, multi-disciplinary research programs must be implemented to be effective with the limited resources available.
RECOMMENDATION 17: Create a network of experimental forests with associated facilities to meet scientific and management objectives to restore deficient or degraded forests.
RECOMMENDATION 18: Create a network of demonstration forests on all islands with a diversity of willing landowners to provide an opportunity to use existing and new knowledge on the ground and assist private forest landowners with currently available technical knowledge and applied research.


GUIDING CONCEPT 7: Planning, Inventories and Monitoring
RECOMMENDATION 19: Update or complete and implement management plans for all publicly owned and managed forests.
RECOMMENDATION 20: Strengthen the capacity of Hawaii’s public land management agencies to conduct resource inventories, surveys, and monitoring, and to manage the resulting data.
RECOMMENDATION 21: Require regular monitoring in all programs and activities to evaluate the effectiveness of management practices, outreach efforts, research projects, economic investments, and other forest-related activities.


GUIDING CONCEPT 8: Economic Development
RECOMMENDATION 22: To promote economic diversification within the state, create sustainable commercial forests by supporting the existing forest products industry, and taking advantage of new opportunities in the state as a result of land becoming available following economic declines in sugar, pineapple and, to a lesser extent, cattle ranching.

GUIDING CONCEPT 9: Innovative Funding
RECOMMENDATION 23: Develop a program that allows a percent of the sale of water to fund essential regional forest watershed management activities.
RECOMMENDATION 24: Use carbon sequestration as a funding mechanism for Hawaii’s forest management programs.
RECOMMENDATION 25: Establish a grants program to support partnerships that link research, management, and extension efforts for traditional cultural, social, economic, biological, or other resource information and technology transfer need

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