Maui News

Emergency Program to Assist with Losses Due to Excessive Deer Populations

February 22, 2021, 4:04 PM HST
* Updated February 22, 4:05 PM
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Deer at Makawao, file photo courtesy The Nature Conservancy.

An emergency assistance program has opened for farming and ranching operations that have suffered losses due to excessive deer populations on Molokaʻi and Maui.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture has committed a total of $200,000 for this relief program through the Agricultural Development and Food Security Special Fund.

Qualified agricultural and livestock operations on both islands may apply for up to $10,000 in assistance via the state’s procurement platform. The application deadline is at noon on March 8, 2021.

Governor David Ige issued an emergency proclamation on Jan. 26, declaring the County of Maui a disaster area due to drought conditions which began in March 2019. The proclamation enables the state to provide relief from disaster damages, losses, suffering caused by the disaster, and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people.

“The prolonged drought situation in Maui County has caused significant economic losses to farmers and ranchers in large part due to the overpopulation of axis deer,” said Gov. Ige. “This program will provide some relief for damaged field crops and depleted pasture forage that is necessary for the livestock industry.”

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“The Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture will continue to collaborate with the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency on disaster relief programs to further assist the agriculture industry in Maui County,” said Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, chairperson of the Hawaiʻi Board of Agriculture.

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