The current crisis in our beleaguered cattle industry, as it appeared in the Tribune-Herald on Oct. 5, is a very disturbing problem, in my personal view.
Much, if not most, of the problem is due to the severe drought conditions that exist in parts of our state, which, in my opinion, could be better dealt with by moving our cattle to parts of the island where the drought is at least less severe, such as the windward side of our island.
There are large areas of the Hamakua, Hilo and Puna districts that are blank, and all that is growing there are wild grasses and various weeds that would be excellent fodder for our cattle and would allow our ranchers to cease or reduce the need for shipping their products to the mainland.
Though total rainfall has been somewhat less even on our side of the island, it is still more than sufficient to help solve this problem. It is my hope that the powers that be will recognize this and do something about it, in the interest of all of us. Our local ranchers deserve nothing less than some positive action in this respect.
It is certainly time to inject some commonsense into solving this and other problems.
Big Island heroes
A surge of federal, state and private funds have been channeled to eradicate non-native species and “manage” out forests and wilderness areas in Hawaii.
This has infringed on the local people, their culture, and historical rights. Hunting, fishing, traditional gathering, and off-road recreational activities are getting the squeeze. Fences are going up everywhere, and back-road access lost.
Wild resources are being targeted for eradication. Up against this rushing tide, diverse groups of local people bravely got together to fight for a balance. Sacrificing time and pay, they worked long and hard at the County Council, presenting testimony. With the help of Dominic Yagong and the overwhelming support of the other County Council members, they got two new bills passed.
A ban on the cruel and wasteful aerial shooting of game animals, and the formation of a commission passed.
This commission will be an advisory committee to advise the government on issues relating to hunting, fishing and traditional cultural rights. With the signature of Mayor Billy Kenoi, the commission made its way to this year’s ballot for a public vote.
If it gets enough “yes” votes, there will be an official game management advisory commission, giving a voice for the people. I would like to thank these unsung heroes of the Big Island for all of their hard work.
Nani Mench Pogline