DLNR News Release – Christmas tree bonfires in Ahu Olaca are illegal and disrespectful
Posted on December 27, 2022 / Latest Division News, Newsroom
(Honolulu) – Last year’s proactive education and outreach on the illegal burning of Christmas trees in Ahu Oraka (Kaneohe Bay Sandbar) was a success. DLNR’s Department of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) has not received any reports of trees being burned in late 2021 or early 2022.
But in early 2021, DLNR/DOCARE warned that illegal tree bonfires in Ahu’olaca violated Hawaii’s Administrative Regulations (HAR), and that year the situation would move to COVID-19 mandates. exacerbated by violations of Photos posted on social media sites showed a large group of people, without masks, standing shoulder to shoulder with a wood fire burning behind them.
DOCARE takes a zero-tolerance stance towards open burning of trees. Chief Jason Ledula said, “Because ahu-o-laka is sacred to the people of Hawaii, this act is clearly disrespectful and illegal under state law.” In addition to the destruction it wreaks on both land and natural resources, it is utterly wrong on all fronts.”
“Ahu o Laka is a sacred place,” said Leialoha “Rocky” Karuhiwa, president of the Koolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club. “The iwi (remains) of Maui chief Laka were brought and buried there centuries ago by his sons. and become sacred to Native Hawaiians. Never bring opalas (waste such as Christmas trees) into the Ahhu-O-Laka bonfire. ”
Redulla added that DOCARE officials rely heavily on prompt reporting by witnesses of violations of natural and cultural resources. He has two ways to report incidents. 643-DLNR (3567), or her free DLNRTip app available for both iPhone and Android users.
“Obviously, our officers are not everywhere all the time. All we ask is for everyone to respect Aina,” said Redulla.
To report tree burning:
(808) 643-DLNR (3567) on all islands
Download the free DLNRTip app available for both iPhone and Android users
Senior Communications Manager
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources