“The People’s Hearing:Hunting”- Saturday, Feb 25, 2012, 5:00pm

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“The People’s Hearing:Hunting”

The Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group is hosting a legislative hunting hearing: “The People’s Hearing: Hunting.”  The meeting is open to all interested in hunting or public access rights on public lands. The hearing will be held on Saturday February 25  from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Nani Mau Gardens, 421 Makalika Street.
The Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group (MKRUG) was formed in 2009.   It is a grass roots clearinghouse for the Hawaii Island recreational user community accessing public lands. It’s members are organizations that represent hunters, fishermen, off road vehicles, mountain bikers, hikers, paddlers, surfers and others.
MKRUG works to promote the right of access to and responsible use of public lands. MKRUG helps identify potential conflicts and common interests for users of public lands.
According to MKRUG president Wayne Blyth: “We are hosting the “People’s Hearing” as a means of insuring that the people’s voice is heard by our Big Island legislators who will be considering very powerful bills affecting management of our public lands.”
The hearing’s schedule of events is sign-in at 5:00 p.m.  At 5:30 there will be a presentation from MKRUG with a welcome and introduction of guests and other dignitaries. A statement of ground rules for the evening will precede a 40 minute MKRUG presentation. Joe Griffiths will discuss  his recent organization of DLNR hunter protest. Matt Hoeflinger of Pig Hunters of Hawaii will talk about the current closure of Puu Makaala, Pat Pacheco will discuss hunting culture, tradition, and family values. Tony Sylvester of Hunter of Hawaii will discuss the eradication of game on Mauna Kea. Waltham Johansen will give a Hamakua perspective.
A MKRUG spokesperson says: “There seems to be a constant stream of ‘environmental preservation’ initiatives being proposed by all levels of government. These initiatives are presented by volumes of documentation that most people have a hard time understanding. These initiatives seem to have one thing in common; loss of public access rights through land closure, fencing, and wild game eradication.”
Invited guests, include Big Island legislators: State Senators Malama Solomon, Gilbert Kahele and Josh Green, State Representatives Mark Nakashima, Jerry Chang, Clift Tsuji, Faye Hanohano, Robert Herkes, Denny Coffman and Cindy Evans.  Courtesy invitations were extended to Hawaii County officials: Mayor Billy Kenoi, Councilors Dominic Yagong, Donald Ikeda, J Yoshimoto, Dennis Onishi, Fred Blas, Brittany Smart, Brenda Ford, Angel Pilago and Pete Hoffman.
Wayne Blyth comments: “The legislative process as it
is practiced today denies access to participation by most of Hawaii’s people due to time, technology, financial or geographic barriers. There is a growing distrust of government agencies and elected representatives in the management of public lands. It seems that our
government agencies and elected representatives have forgotten that the State is the steward of the lands, not their owner. These lands are owned by the public.”
The Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group is hosting a legislative hunting hearing: “The People’s Hearing: Hunting.” The hearing will be held on Saturday February 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Nani Mau Gardens, 421 Makalika Street. For information contact Wayne Blyth at wayne@maunakearug.com 936-7521.

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