Aloha, everyone. As you may have heard, the full state Senate will vote on GM 517: Appointment of William Johnson Aila, Jr. as Director of the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, this Thursday, March 3, 2011. If you would like to email a brief statement of support to all of our state Senators, that would be appreciated. Mahalo nui loa!
Email address for all Hawai’i state Senators: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY I SUPPORT MR. AILA AS DIRECTOR OF THE DLNR
I support the appointment of William Johnson Aila, Jr., as Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources because he has the experience, skills, and proven dedication to the resource to be an effective director of this challenging department. I am confident he will serve with integrity, provide much-needed leadership, and bring people together to solve the challenges we face protecting our sacred sites, cultural practices, ocean, freshwater, ceded lands, forests, watersheds, harbors, recreation areas, and habitat for unique Hawaiian species.
I have known Mr. Aila for at least 15 years working to protect native Hawaiian plants and animals in the Wai’anae mountains and along the Wai’anae coast. He is honest, fair, respectful, intelligent, and hard-working.
Over many years and by many actions, Mr. Aila has demonstrated his commitment to protecting our land and resources. He has worked with hundreds of Native Hawaiian practitioners, community leaders, active citizens, landowners, businesses, citizen organizations, agency representatives, and elected officials.
Mr. Aila’s personal and professional background will serve him well as Director of the DLNR. As harbormaster for Wai’anae and working at other state harbors as well, Mr. Aila is already familiar with our state harbors, boating, ocean laws and regulations, protecting ocean resources, and addressing conflicts that sometimes arise between ocean users.
As a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner, fisher, hunter, and gatherer, Mr. Aila will also bring an important perspective to the director’s office. He has worked on protecting Native Hawaiian burials, iwi, and traditions, protecting water quality and marine resources that feed people and sustain businesses, and preserving sacred and other important cultural sites. For example, he worked with state and federal agencies, and the public to formulate policies to accommodate traditional and customary practices for the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Sanctuary in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. He also worked to protect essential watersheds, native ecosystems, and habitat for unique Hawaiian species, including the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal, Laysan albatross, and wedge-tailed shearwaters in the Ka’ena Point Natural Area Reserve.
Mr. Aila has been honored with this most prestigious appointment, while being given the tremendous responsibility of leading the DLNR in difficult times. I look forward to working with him and the department. Please support GM 517 and Mr. Aila. Mahalo nui loa.