HI: Trail-saver facing fine for using bow to eradicate goats
Trail-saver facing fine for using bow to eradicate goats
November 20, 2008
LIHU'E, Kaua'i - A man who took it upon himself to help repair
Kaua'i's world-famous north shore is facing a government fine for his
Bill Summers, 42, is accused of bow hunting without a permit on
Kaua'i's Na Pali Coast Trail, where he says he intended to kill goats
that contribute to the trail's erosion and create unsafe hiking
conditions. He also was cited for having a weapon on state land.
He plans to fight the citations in court Jan. 7. They carry fines of
up to $500 and 30 days in jail. "I'm not going to pay the fine," he
said. "They've annoyed me too greatly. If they're not going to let me do
it, they're going to have to go out there and do it themselves."
The state argues that Summers is not registered as a volunteer, and
he's not authorized to do trail maintenance, Department of Land and
Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward said.
Trail advocate Arius Hopman said a little cooperation from the state
could go a long way. "They could easily turn this thing around by
legitimizing Bill," he said. "He has spent his savings and time
preserving people's health and possibly saving lives."
The state allows bow hunting at Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
year-round with a permit, but doesn't authorize rifle hunting due to
safety issues, Ward said. The state has closed the trail in the past for
some rifle hunts, but didn't do so this year.
"We need more hunters out there ... " Summers said. "The first step
is reducing the number of goats and hogs."
With no natural predators, the populations of feral goats and pigs
are spiraling out of control, he said.
Nearly three times as many hunting permits were issued annually from
2004 through 2007 compared with this year, according to state records.
Between 76 and 128 goats were killed annually in those four years,
compared with 17 so far in 2008. The number of pig killings also has
dropped, with none hunted in 2008.