The great Earth Day meat giveaway

In a shadowy room on the outskirts of Kaunakakai, the plan was hatched: they would serve up fresh meat from the hills of Molokai…but without the help of a state certified kitchen!!!

The Molokai Hunters Association would like to show the public why they’re so fond of Molokai’s hunting grounds. They had planned to throw a free barbeque for the public, passing out samples of venison and pork at The Nature Conservancy’s Earth Day Celebration on April 13. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), however, informed the hunters that if they will be making meat available for public consumption it would have to be prepared in a state-certified kitchen.

Embroiled in mistrustful loggerheads for months now over TNC’s decision to hire off-island hunters to come and thin the island’s undulate (pig, deer, and goat) populations which are accelerating hillside erosion and reef devastation, hunters say that TNC is trying to limit their visibility by dissuading them from interacting with the public.

Ed Mysaki of The Nature Conservancy says that the issue is not about limiting the hunters’ visibility, but about protecting TNC’s liability: “The department of Health were the ones that told us the meat had to come from certified kitchens. We don’t care one way or the other (about them serving meat), but we’re a law-abiding organization and we’re not going to do anything illegal.”

The Hunters, however, are determined, and are planning on serving the fruits of Molokai’s forests one way or another at Earth Day. They may set up a grill just outside the fence, or even move inside, sighting a recently announced legal loophole: Linda Lingle and Duke Aiona’s Arril 3 relaxation of the certified kitchens rule for shelters servicing the homeless.

The Nature Conservancy’s Earth Day celebrations start at 5pm on Friday, April 13 at Mithcell Paoule Center, and will feature the Mo Bettah Band and TNC’s Earth Day song contest. All are invited to attend.


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