Environment & Ecology

Emergency Loans for Deer Impacts

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

HDOA News Release 

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) will open an emergency loan program to help farmers with the costs associated with the overpopulation of axis deer on Maui, Molokai and Lanai). At an Aug. 23 meeting, the Hawaii Board of Agriculture (Board) approved the emergency loan program request by the Agricultural Loan Division. Applications will be accepted beginning Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

In March 2022, Governor Ige issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maui County due to drought conditions. Supplementary proclamations have extended the relief period until Sept. 20. The emergency proclamations include provisions for relief from damages, losses and suffering caused by axis deer, which have decimated agricultural crops and pastural lands as they migrate to seek water and forage.…

Gorilla Ogo Be Gone

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Gorilla Ogo Be Gone

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Nonprofits Sust’ainable Molokai and Sustainable Coastlines partnered together with community volunteers for a cleanup of invasive gorilla ogo seaweed at Kaunakakai Wharf last Saturday. Growing in thick mats, gorilla ogo chokes out native limu species, as well as killing coral and other sea life. 

The effort brought about two dozen people to help with the cleanup. They identified the invasive limu, separated it from any native species growing with it, and bagged it for removal. They joined a growing number of regular volunteer efforts that have been successful in reducing the volume of ogo around the wharf area, which sometimes collects along the shoreline in massive quantities. …

Kalaupapa Seal Gets Life-Saving Surgery

Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Kalaupapa Seal Gets Life-Saving Surgery

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

A young Hawaiian monk seal from Kalaupapa got critical surgery to remove a hook lodged in his throat and has been returned safely to the  shores of the remote settlement. 

The juvenile male seal, known as RP92, was spotted by National Park Service employees at Kalaupapa during a routine survey with fishing gear trailing from his mouth, according to NOAA Fisheries report. 

“We consulted with response partners from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, The Marine Mammal Center, and NPS and determined that the seal was most likely suffering from an ingested hook,” stated the NOAA release.…

Molokai HAMS Needed for Emergency Drill

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

Hawaii ARES News Release

Calling all Molokai Amateur Radio operators or HAMS! On Saturday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, the Hawaii Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will be hosting the Makani ‘Ino Hurricane Emergency Communications Drill.

Molokai residents are some of the most self-reliant people in the state. They have been cut off from each other many times in the past, from dangerous burning wildfires to flooding water, closing roads on the East End.

We also know that cell phone coverage is very limited as we drive around the island. Imagine what would happen if Molokai got hit by a hurricane? …

Resources for Deer Issues

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Sen. DeCoite News Release

In collaboration with State and County agencies, Senator Lynn DeCoite is once again working to provide the public with information and resources on who to contact regarding axis deer issues.

Injured and alive deer – Deer that have been injured, for example, by vehicle strikes and are still alive pose a threat to public safety. If a live injured deer is encountered, do not approach the animal. Immediately call: 

During regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., call the Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s Maui Branch Office (DOFAW) Molokai Office at (808)553-1745.  After hours and weekends, call the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) at (808) 873- 3990 or Maui Police Department Dispatch (MPD) at (808) 244-6400. DOFAW will immediately dispatch a trained specialist to secure and capture the animal safely.…

Bovine TB Control Evolves

Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Agriculture, health and wildlife officials visited Molokai two weeks ago to educate residents and answer questions about the ongoing bovine tuberculosis (bTB) outbreak on Molokai. Together, they discussed the impacts of the disease, what has been done and what’s ahead regarding control, legislation and community action. 

The source of the 2021 outbreak that has swept through Molokai populations of cattle and pigs is still under investigation but genomic testing shows that all of the infected herds are related to a Molokai strain tracing back to feral pigs on the island’s east end. 

Dr. Isaac Maeda, Hawaii Dept.…

Below Normal Hurricane Season Predicted

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are predicting a below normal 2022 hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Experts say there is a 60 percent chance of below-normal tropical cyclone activity during the Central Pacific hurricane season this year, according to NOAA’s Central Pacific Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, divisions of the National Weather Service. The outlook also indicates a 30 percent chance for near-normal activity, and only a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.

For the season as a whole, forecasters are expecting two to four tropical cyclones for the Central Pacific hurricane region.…

Kawela Stream Flows Again

Thursday, May 19th, 2022

Kawela Stream Flows Again

Earthjustice News Release

On Tuesday, May 11, full flow was restored to Kawela Stream, which has been diverted to West Molokai for over a century.  

The movement to restore Kawela began officially in 2019, when community group Molokai No Ka Heke filed a formal request for stream restoration with the State Water Commission.  This year, Molokai No Ka Heke and youth advocates from ‘Aina Momona conducted public outreach and appeared before the Water Commission three months in a row, in February, March, and finally in April, when the Commission agreed to the community’s request to pursue 100 percent restoration of Kawela Stream. …

Inspected Meat Remains Safe as bTB Outbreak Continues

Thursday, May 5th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

With concern about bovine tuberculosis (bTB), which has rapidly spread across livestock herds in central and west Molokai this year, some residents have wondered, is it safe to eat meat slaughtered on Molokai? The answer is yes. 

“The Molokai Livestock Cooperative would like to assure you, our community, that the procedures of how we handle every single animal, whether it be cattle, hogs, deer or sheep, must go through a stringent inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also known as the USDA,” wrote Randy Cabreros, interim manager of Molokai’s slaughterhouse, in a social media post last week.…

Historic Ruling to Restore Kawela Stream Flow

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

Historic Ruling to Restore Kawela Stream Flow

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

In a landmark decision last week, the state Commission on Water Resource Management unanimously ruled to restore flow levels to Kawela Stream and four others in the area, after they had been almost fully diverted for more than a century. It’s a huge victory for community members who advocated through group Molokai No Ka Heke, which filed a formal request for stream restoration in 2019. 

“After over a hundred years of Kawela waters being diverted across the island and wasted, we finally said enough is enough,” said Molokai No Ka Heke member Walter Ritte.  “The big ranching and ag operations are gone, and we couldn’t just sit and watch this precious water be thrown away.”…