State boating rules questioned

HANALEI — Brenda Scott Rogers, whose family uses a 17-foot rowboat with a small engine to cross the Hanalei River multiple times a day, is worried about the state’s new proposed boating rules.

“Our ohana resides on the Princeville side of the Hanalei River,” Rogers said. “These rules would paralyze our boating lifestyle and transportation across the Hanalei River.”

That, and other proposed rule amendments were open for comment at a Monday meeting on Kauai, which drew about 50 attendees.

For the past 17 years, Rogers’ family has used the rowboat for transportation from their home and complied with rules until 2005, when she was notified the boat had to be in a designated mooring area.

“(That is) located in Hanalei Bay, which is not reasonable or practical,” she said.

Now, the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) proposes to restrict mooring in a non-designated area for no more than 72 hours within 14 days.

“It is evident that the Hanalei River residents were not considered when we were doing the broad amendments,” Rogers said.

But not everyone in Hanalei opposes the new rules, proposed by DOBOR and outlined in a document with more than 130 pages on its website.

Barbara Maka’ala Kaaumoana, vice chair of Hui Hoomalu I Ka Ama, spoke out in favor of the rule changes, particularly those targeting the feeding of cat colonies, strays and wildlife.

“We strongly support those amendments,” she said.

Those amendments — 13-232-57.1 and 13-232-57.2 — make it illegal to feed colonies, strays, wildlife or feral animals while on any DOBOR property, and lay out a $1,000 and maximum of 30-day imprisonment for rule breakers.

But giving the state the ability to destroy wandering animals at small boat harbors, by any means necessary, isn’t good public policy, said Basil Scott, of Kauai Community Cat Project.

He was one of about 10 people who testified at the DLNR pubic hearing regarding the proposed animal elimination rule.

“This is not in the spirit of aloha,” said Alison Jacobson, an Anahola resident.

Martha Girdnay of Kauai Community Cat Project, said their experience is that the trap-neuter-release program is successful on the island and the proposed rules would make releasing the cats back into the wild illegal.

“It’s questionable and there are alternatives,” she said.

The proposed rule amendments can be reviewed online on the DOBOR website located at dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/draft-rules and deadline for further submission of written comments is midnight on Aug. 5.

Written testimony on the rule changes can be submitted by email to dlnr.harreview@hawaii.gov, Subject: Rule Amendment Package 2017; by fax to (808) 587-1977, Attn: Rule Amendment Package 2017, or by mail to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 130 Honolulu, HI 96813, Attn: Chairperson. Re: Rule Amendment Package 2017.

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