Taking one step closer to a permanent quarantine on transport of ohia plants from the Big Island, state Department of Agriculture officials concluded a series of public hearings Wednesday night.
Accessed on 09 September 2016, 16:30 hrs, UTC.
Reporter: Ivy Ashe.
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Those attending Wednesday’s meeting (07 September 2016) agreed that the temporary quarantine on the transport of ohia logs and products is limiting rapid ohia death to Hawaii Island. The DLNR says the fungal disease “has affected more than 38,000 acres here…” Because of the quarantine measures imposed, the disease has not spread to any other island in the state.
Ohia products can only be shipped off Hawaii Island if they are tested for Ceratocystis fimbriata and “properly permitted.” Those attending the meeting are urging the state to impose a permanent quarantine on ohia products until methods are found to stop the spread of the fungus.
Big Island Invasive Species Committee project manager Springer Kaye said “This rule represents to me the really excellent commitment (by the state).” BIISC communications director Franny Kinslow Brewer added that “There are so many great teams working around the clock to try to stop it.” She expressed concern that these efforts may run out of funds before a way is found to stop the fungus.
Some relief from the federal government may help stop the spread of the fungal disease. Last week, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz announced the release of additional federal funds to combat the disease.
Hawaii Department of Agriculture representative Jonathan Ho said he expects the state Board of Agriculture “to make a decision on the quarantine rule at its next meeting later this month.”
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