Senate Energy & Environment Committee to Hold Informational Briefing on Threat of Invasive Species

HONOLULU – The Senate Committee on Energy and Environment, with Senator Mike Gabbard as the Chair, will host an informational briefing on invasive species issues on Friday, January 11, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. in Conference Room 229 in the State Capitol.

The briefing will feature live animals from the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture’s Plant Quarantine Branch as examples of invasive species interceptions.  A ball python, a tarantula, coqui frogs, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, a bearded dragon, a Cuban knight anaole, and a Madagascar Giant Day Gecko will be on display.

Legislators and the public are invited to view the animals and hear presentations about the impacts of invasive species in their communities.  The Departments of Land and Natural Resources and Agriculture will discuss their priorities for preventing and managing invasive species. Additionally, the Invasive Species Committees and the Watershed Partnerships will present priority projects, successes, and challenges in each county.

In 2003, the Hawai‘i State Legislature declared invasive species the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s environment, agriculture, economy, health and way of life. In 2005, the State Legislature created the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council (HISC) to provide state-level coordination, direction, and planning across departments. HISC Co-Chairs, William Aila (DLNR) and Russell Kokubun (DOA) will speak on the legislative goals for their departments.

Here is a link to the hearing notice: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2013/hearingnotices/HEARING_ENE_01-11-13_INFO_.HTM.