Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources

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The Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), is one of many departments that make up the executive branch of government of the state of Hawaii. DLNR's focus is on state lands and waters and their natural and historical resources. As such, DLNR is a lightning rod for politics in Hawaii whose environment is its 'golden egg'. Listed below are the divisions, offices, boards and commissions under DLNR's wing.

The present Director of the DLNR is Laura Thielen replaced previous director Peter Young in 2007. As Director, she oversees the department and also organizes and conducts the semi-monthly meeting of the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

DLNR under Peter Young

Conservation groups along with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and other Hawaiian organizations discontent with DLNR's staff shortages, low morale and backlogs in reinterring Hawaiian remains, have called for an audit of the department. House Concurrent Resolutions 60 and 200, calling for just such an audit, have been passed by the Hawaii State Legislature during its 2005 session.

OHA's concerns with DLNR are focuses on the slow cataloguing ceded lands, the lack of consultation on decisions regarding ceded lands, the unfilled positions in the Burial Sites Program and the backlogs of the Burial Sites Program.

More than 150 staff positions within DLNR have been left unfilled, decreasing DLNR's functional effectiveness. DLNR Director, Peter Young, blames vacancies on the Legislature's cut of 87 positions in 2004 and on hiring freezes by both Governor Linda Lingle and prior Gov. Benjamin J. Cayetano.

The resignation of DLNR's Deputy Director of water resource management, Yvonne Izu, in February 2005, again heaped negative attention on Young. Izu's primary duty was administering the state water code under the direction of the Hawaii State Commission on Water Resource Management. Izu resigned after being asked to write testimony in support of Senate Bill 503, which effectively abolishes the statewide Water Commission. SB 503 was introduced by Republican Sens. Fred Hemmings, Bob Hogue, Gordon Trimble, Sam Slom and Paul Whalen and supported by the Lingle administration.

The appointment of Dan Davidson in 2003 as deputy director of DLNR had the Sierra Club crying foul. Davidson was executive director of the Land Use Research Foundation, a pro-development lobby group that represents large landowners. The appointment of Young, a former real estate appraiser, initially raised eyebrows.

Divisions and Offices

  • Bureau of Conveyances
  • Division of Aquatic Resources
  • Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation
  • Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement
  • Division of Forestry and Wildlife
  • Division of State Parks
  • Historic Preservation Division
  • Land Division
  • Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands

Boards and Commissions

External Links




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