DLNR to hold hearing on seabird conservation plan

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 10, at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, in Līhuʻe, Kauaʻi, to receive public testimony on the Draft Short-Term Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan for Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative.

Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is seeking an Incidental Take License (ITL) under Chapter 195D, Conservation of Aquatic Life, Wildlife and Plants, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes. 

Under the state’s endangered species law, DLNR may issue a license for take of endangered species that is incidental to an otherwise legal activity, as long as all the requirements under Chapter 195D are met, including approval of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that identifies measures to minimize, avoid, mitigate and monitor take, and results in a net recovery benefit for the affected species.

DLNR must obtain and consider input from the public on all draft habitat conservation plans as part of the approval process.

The Draft KIUC Short-term Habitat Conservation Plan addresses incidental take of three threatened and/or endangered species related to KIUC operations: the ʻuaʻu, Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), ʻakē.ʻakē, band-rumped storm petrel, (Oceanodroma castro) and aʻo, Newell’s shearwater (Puffinus aruicularis newelli).

The draft plan outlines measures to minimize and avoid take of each species covered in the ITL and HCP, as well as measures to provide a net recovery benefit to each species, which is outlined in the HCP mitigation plan.

Copies of the Draft HCP and ITL are available for review at the Hawaiʻi State Library, the Līhuʻe Public Library, and online.

The department is seeking comments from the public on the draft HCP.

If you wish to provide testimony and are unable to attend the public meeting, please sent written testimony to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, 96813, Attention Habitat Conservation Planning Associate, no later than December 23, 2009.

If you desire to attend the above meeting and require auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter) please request assistance five working days prior to the meeting by writing to the above address.