honolulu, Hawaii — Several non-profit organizations and state recreation providers set up exhibits and booths in the Capitol rotunda today to help celebrate Outdoor Heritage Caucus Day with the theme “Play Outdoors, Play Safe.”
The Hawaii Bicycling League (40th anniversary), People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, PATH (30th anniversary), AccessSurf (10th anniversary) were also recognized for their efforts to promote properly using the outdoors and healthy living with floor presentations in both the Senate and the House.
The mission of the Outdoor Heritage Caucus is to identify, protect, and promote Hawaii's heritage of subsistence hunting and fishing, outdoor cultural practices and recreational activities, and to foster appreciation and respect for outdoor heritage. The caucus wants to encourage people get outside and enjoy our natural public lands and waters, but to make sure they do so with safety in mind.
"We know the importance of outdoor recreation to our lifestyle," said Representative Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala), co-chair for the Outdoor Heritage Caucus. "Today we recognized the work of organizations and their volunteer, acknowledging if everyone works together, we can both use and protect our outdoor heritage."
The caucus focuses on: (1) ensuring public access to public lands for the enjoyment of outdoor pursuits; (2) safeguarding the integrity of user-pays trust funds, license revenues, and other dedicated financial contributions by hunter men and women, fishermen and women, and outdoor recreational users; and (3) enhancing state aquatic and wildlife habitat conservation for current and future generations. Legislators in this caucus monitor national debate on issues related to outdoor cultural practices, recreational activities, and hunting and fishing.
"We have strong state laws to assure access to the ocean and the mountains," said Senator Laura Thielen (Kailua, Lanikai, Enchanted Lake, Keolu Hills, Maunawili, Waimanalo, Hawaii Kai, Portlock), co-chair for the caucus. “As the islands become more developed, access to our natural areas can be cut off forcing us to look at management for the long term."
More photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHskt2rHWm