Maui News

Lokahi Pacific accepting applications for Maui County’s $1.5 M program to help farmers and ranchers with feral animal impacts

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Mayor Michael Victorino celebrates the launch of $1.5 million Maui County program to assist farmers and ranchers with crop damage and other impacts from axis deer and other feral animals. Picture from left: Maui County Office of Economic Development Director JoAnn Inamasu, Maui County Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura, Mayor Michael Victorino, and Lokahi Pacific Executive Director Susie Thieman. Photo courtesy: County of Maui.

Lokahi Pacific is accepting grant applications from Maui County farmers and ranchers for a $1.5 million assistance program to help with crop damage and other impacts from axis deer and other feral animals.

“I encourage our farmers and ranchers to apply for these grants as soon as possible to help them with damage caused by foraging axis deer and other feral animals,” said Mayor Michael Victorino in a press release announcement. “Maui County is funding this grant program as a good beginning, but solving this problem requires a committed collaboration among the county, state, large landowners and other partners if we are to get this invasive species under control.”

The deadline for grant applications is 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, 2022.

Farmers and ranchers can receive a grant up to $30,000 for fencing and to cover crop damage and other losses caused by feral animals.

Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.

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Maui County farmers and ranchers may receive funding for sustained economic losses resulting from the loss of pasture forage for cattle, death of cattle, destruction of farms, reduced crop yields and other agriculture property damages arising directly from axis deer overpopulation since July 1, 2021.

Mayor Michael Victorino thanks Lokahi Pacific and members of the Maui Axis Deer Task Force, chaired by Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura, for its work to strategize ways to minimize the environmental and economic impacts of feral animals in Maui County. Photo courtesy: County of Maui.
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Eligible uses for grants include costs expended in protective/mitigating measures, acquisition of seeds, replanting efforts, livestock replacement, fencing, fuel, labor and rental equipment necessary to restore functioning agricultural operations.

To be eligible, applicants must be a food-producing farm or ranch of more than 12 acres but less than 40 acres and located in Maui County.

“I want to thank Lokahi Pacific and members of the Maui Axis Deer Task Force, chaired by Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura, to strategize ways to minimize the environmental and economic impacts of these feral animals,” Mayor Victorino said.

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The funding is a result of a budget amendment submitted by Mayor Victorino.

Applications are available online.

Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to submit complete applications with all required information to expedite the process of receiving grant funds.

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