Former Gov. Linda Lingle has urged the federal government to postpone making the main Hawaiian Islands critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal until the economic and social consequences are studied.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has proposed expanding critical habitat to protect the endangered monk seal.
A recent proposal by the Federal Government to make 4,787 square miles of land and water in Hawaii a federal critical habitat is another example of government over-reach and insensitivity to the concerns of the people of this State.
I am calling upon the federal Department of the Interior to postpone this action until such time as the economic and social consequences to the people of Hawaii are fully understood and addressed.
While I support efforts to protect and preserve endangered species, such as the Hawaiian Monk Seal, these efforts should be carried out with a sensitivity to the people and activities they impact. And they should be based on extensive public input and solid economic and scientific data.