VIDEO: Two Miles of Fencing Vandalized at Natural Area Reserve
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7lJAofblAU /]
By Maui Now Staff
***Check back for video to be posted shortly.
Nearly two miles of ungulate proof fencing, surrounding the Puʻu Makaʻala Natural Area Reserve on Hawaiʻi Island was cut and destroyed by vandals.
The ungulate fencing was built in the early part of this decade to keep feral goats, pigs and other invasive animals away from native plants.
State officials say this is not the first time the fencing has been vandalized.
According to department reports, the vandals cut through multiple sections of the fence at intervals of 5 to 10 meters from top to bottom.
DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case released a statement on Monday saying, “Whatever point these vandals think they’re making, they need to realize that they and every other taxpayer in Hawaiʻi, ultimately ends up paying for the replacement of this fencing. Additionally, significant staff time will be spent to repair the damage which could take several months and takes staff away from other scheduled projects and regular duties.”
Damages are estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for repairs, authorities said.
The crime is considered a Class B felony with penalties that include thousands of dollars in fines and 5-10 years in jail.
Anyone with information on the crime is encouraged to call the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Conservation and Resource Enforcement hotline at (808) 643-DLNR.