Letters for Saturday, September 17, 2011

• Let the birds be • Giving conservation a bad name • Nene

relocation ridiculous • Fire ants

Let the birds be

Auwe, I am deeply saddened by the future transfer of our Kaua‘i nene. These native magnificent birds fly over our Anahola home each day and delight our Kaua‘i skies. Kaua‘i is their home. Removing them will disturb and negatively impact our ecosystem and their’s as well. This transfer is not good for the bird and will upset and traumatize them.

Besides, the people of Kaua‘i deserve to enjoy these birds, too, and as far as I can see they are increasing in numbers not decreasing. They love it here. Kaua‘i is part of the State of Hawai‘i and we deserve to have the state bird here, too. So why are they sending all of them away? Is there a hidden agenda?

Besides, how can the state be so irresponsible and justify the ridiculous cost of transferring these birds that have not been hurt by air traffic, but potentially can be hurt. Until there is serious documentation worthy of this transfer, leave the nene alone. Save our taxpayers’ money and spend that money on more affordable housing, covered bus stops, teacher pay increases or better school and public bathroom facilities.

Let’s get real, Kaua‘i.

Agnes Keaolani Marti-Kini, Anahola

Giving conservation a bad name

I care deeply about the ‘aina and the events of the past few years are very concerning to me, having witnessed our community in conflict with wildlife in ways that did not need to happen.

First the ‘a‘o (Newell’s shearwaters), which fishermen can follow to find ahi and which bring nutrients to our mauka areas. Then monk seals, thought to compete with nearshore fishermen.  And now nene?  What‘s going on here? What happened to caring for the ‘aina???

The misinformation is astounding. How did those making these decisions not predict these reactions? Are they living in a bubble? Do they ever get out in the community?

The proposed $7.2 million nene relocation project can be clarified by the 148-page U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2004 Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the nene (Branta sandvicensis).

It’s not a simple means of just getting them away from the Lihu‘e Airport runway and adjacent Kaua‘i Lagoons.

There is a larger plan to replenish our state bird on other islands so that they can be delisted and persist indefinitely for our keiki to benefit from. They want the richness of wildlife that Kaua‘i has.

Thomas Thorn, Lihu‘e

Nene relocation ridiculous

It is getting harder and harder for me to read or watch the news.

I certainly do not consider myself to be a genius, and I admit that I often do not have a positive suggestion for solving the many problems I read about or see reported, but some are just so absurd as to be an insult.

For instance, we are prepared to spend the amount of $18,000.00 per bird (a total of 7.2 million) to trap and relocate our endangered state bird (nene) from areas around the Lihu‘e Airport to Maui and the Big Island where they face natural predators (mongoose), and will be forced to live with clipped wings, even though there has not been one nene found responsible for a bird strike on an airliner out of over 1,000 reported strikes.

The justification results, apparently, from the incident in New York City that forced an airbus to crash land in the Hudson River several years ago.

While I certainly would not want to minimize the danger of bird strikes or negate airline safety concerns, I find the proposed solution to be totally ridiculous.

Honestly, I wonder whose brilliant idea this was and who will be profiting from the solution?

For $7.2 million someone could probably engineer a permanent solution for all aircraft.

Maybe Marriott, who brought the geese to this location would like to pay the bill.

Personally, I can think of a lot better use for $7.2 million — helping people in need!

John Owens, Lihu‘e

Fire ants

I just read your Sept. 15 article on the fire ants and would like everyone to know that on Sept. 5 through 9 I was hiking the Kalalau trail and at Hanakapi‘ai I encountered a swarm of these on both sides of the stream.  

Everyone who hikes the trail please be careful.  I am also notifying the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

Harold Hargrave, Culver City, Calif.

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