Sunday, April 12, 2015

Musings: Ige's Wily Ways

Gov. David Ige has proven himself a wily politician with his nomination of The Nature Conservancy's Suzanne Case to lead the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Because the pick has effectively driven a wedge between environmentalists and Native Hawaiians — the only coalition that would be likely to challenge him on anything. And local hunters and fishers are piling on, too, along with animal rights advocates.

While the “greens” love Suzanne and TNC's brand of upscale environmentalism, kanaka and hunters aren't so keen on TNC's zero-tolerance of game animals, which it exterminates as invasive species, sometimes through the use of snares that PETA has proclaimed inhumane.

Sharp lines are being drawn — even as Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser sent out an email effusing over Case's nomination, which he credited to an “intense grass-roots effort supported by a strong alliance of organizations representing diverse yet common interests” that prompted Ige to ditch Carleton Ching and appoint Case instead.

Civil Beat also bought into the hype that Ige had experienced a “come to Jesus” moment and miraculously seen the light, turning on a dime to replace a developers' lobbyist with the head of a major conservation organization. Its unquestioning editorial enthused:

“This Time, Ige Nails It. In his second attempt at picking a new Department of Land and Natural Resources chief, the governor taps an experienced conservation lawyer with deep local roots.”

Even Sen. Laura Thielen, whose own legacy at DLNR was the failed “recreational renaissance” that called for the widespread privatization and commercialization of state parks — including a hotel at Kokee and admission booths — pronounced that Case passed muster. (Btw, how did Thielen ever become the darling of greens? Have they completely forgotten her tenure at DLNR?)

Meanwhile, Molokai activist Walter Ritte and others who denounced Ching — and supported Hooser on anti-GMO and anti-pesticide causes — are now blasting Case. They don't like TNC's disdain for game animals, its support for marine protected areas and its penchant for fencing off land and eradicating all the non-native mammals within.

They've launched a Move-On petition that proclaims “Protect our Hunting, Fishing, Diving & Surviving!” and calls for Suzanne Case's removal. With some 550 signatures at last check, it states:

We the residents of Hawaii depend on the animals that we're given to King Kamehameha so we the people could be self sustainable. Allowing Nature Conservancy Director Suzanne Case to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources will be a total disaster to our race and our culture. With Suzanne Case being the Chairperson of DLNR there will be no animals to harvest because of fences and eradication. People of Hawaii, one day the ships will stop coming and the only thing that we will have to eat is the animals in the forest, fish that swim in the sea, and the produce that that our farmers produce!!! Remove Nature Conservancy Director Suzanne Case NOW before its to late!

In posting the petition link on his Facebook page, Ritte wrote:

This lady is bad news for all traditional and subsistence practitioners. Sign the petition.

In signing the petition, Terrance EK Castillo of Kekaha wrote:

They already took away the KINGDOM, most of our LANDS, our major WEST SIDE FISHING AREA, What's next? Get that #$%^&@ Suzanne Case out of there. Take down the fences that are already up. #%@$^&* @!$%^*&

Robert Duerr from Hilo expressed similar sentiments:

The case against the TNC and Case? Eradication, aerial killings, citizen kapu fences are not a game management plan.

Gosh. Looks like the unraveling of Hooser's “strong alliance of organizations representing diverse yet common interests.”

Not to mention that one of Case's first chores, should she be confirmed, is dealing with the frankly unresolvable conflict over the Thirty Meter Telescope, which is on conservation land that DLNR has leased to the University of Hawaii.

Talk about an extremely hot seat. Can you spell lose-lose? Can you say hamstrung from the get-go?

And as Case gets savaged, and ultimately marginalized in the fray, Ige emerges smelling like a rose, having given some folks, at least, exactly what they wanted.


Chuck Lasker said...

Oh the hypocrisy! "Ban GMOs because they hurt the aina! Protect invasive species that hurt the aina because WE benefit from them!"

It's right there with, "pesticide drift is killin' us all! Burning smoke drift should be protected because we want BBQ!"

And Dylan Hooser's, "ban GMOs, but don't ban questionable sunrise shell harvesting because that effects ME!"

And just to be clear, I don't think the government should ban any of those things, even though I don't benefit from any of them.

Anonymous said...

The State has been assaulting traditional and subsistence practitioners for several years. As you recently reported, they are prosecuting a Kanaka for pig hunting in the forest to feed his family. Now they are appointing politicians who want to kill all the game animals altogether.
The apology, the promise of reconciliation and the constitutional protection of subsistence rights for cultural practitioners are revealed as big lies.

Anonymous said...

All races should be allowed to hunt. That is how game was controlled when I was young. And I seem to remember Ed Case being a hunter and fisherman. Expand hunting.,

Anonymous said...

Ah the price, of living on the reservation.

Anonymous said...

not to worry, goin get enough wild pigs for everyone even if they plan to erradicate cuz, they just can't keep up! and stop making trouble by gettin everybody worked up about the new person for dlnr---if not ching, case---than who? neva satisfied--------

Anonymous said...

"and stop making trouble by gettin everybody worked up about the new person for dlnr"

are you talking to Walter Ritte?

Anonymous said...

This blog is so fun. Mr Lasker none of this affects you that's for sure. Cuz u don't fish you don't hunt you have no family here and are not connected to anyone in any way You sir are from the mainland, and are a very recent arrival.

You are the very prerson that said that the GMO crowd were not from here. Now you are stating they are by implying it is 'their lifestyle", and that they are being hypocritical. Coming from the King of Hypocrites that is pretty rich,sir!

The people who are against the smoke ban are not the same people for the GMO ban and vice versa.

You should really get out more. Also stop being jealous of Walter. He has done more in his lifetime for the good of humanity then any of you could do in ten.

You new comers should really educate yourselves before you start criticizing pure Hawaiian born and raised people like Walter.

Seriously it just makes you look like a total jerk.

Anonymous said...

" It wouldn't, of course. But it's all part of the show that Gary and the anti-GMO folks are putting on, replete with the usual lies, as posted on the HAPA Facebook page: “Syngenta sprays literally tons of restricted use pesticides on the tiny island of Kaua`i - next to schools, hospitals, and homes.”

Except it doesn't. The company has voluntarily implemented buffer zones."

LMAO. Yea, voluntary buffer zones. Joan you are a hack and always have been. How can it be legal to spew such lies and call it a blog when you clearly have an agenda. You don't even have your facts straight. If not for 2491, the companies would not have even tried to address these crappy little buffer zones they have set up, which are meaningless. Get out and get educated people.

Joan Conrow said...

You're the one who needs to get educated. Syngenta did a school buffer before 2491 was ever introduced. And all The companies have continued to provide buffer zones even though they aren't legally required since 2491 has been struck down. But regardless of their motivations, they do have buffer zones. So Gary is flat out lying when he claims they are spraying next to school, hospitals and homes, and he knows it. Who's got the agenda?