What We Do

The National Wildlife Refuge System is a series of lands and waters owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife conservation is at the heart of the refuge system. It drives everything we do from the purpose a refuge is established, to the recreational activities offered there, to the resource management tools we use. Selecting the right tools helps us ensure the survival of local plants and animals and helps fulfill the purpose of the refuge.

Management and Conservation

Refuges use a wide range of land management tools based on the best science available. Some refuges use prescribed fires to mimic natural fires that would have cleared old vegetation from the land helping native plants regenerate and local wildlife to thrive. Other refuges contain Wilderness areas where land is largely managed in passively. The management tools used are aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach where both wildlife and people will benefit. At this field station our conservation toolbox includes:

  • Interagency coordination and collaboration
  • Threatened and endangered species protection and recovery
  • Historic and cultural resource protection
  • Fire management
  • Planning of regional development activities
  • Adaptive management
  • Integrated Pest management
  • Volunteer opportunities

Law Enforcement

Fish and wildlife law enforcement issues on lands and waters of the Kakahaia NWR are under the jurisdiction of the Service Zone Officer based in Honolulu. The role of the Zone Officer is to conduct and document law enforcement incidents and coordinate and/or meet with all refuge project leaders, law enforcement supervisors, and refuge officers. The Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Zone Officer is highly mobile and is frequently deployed temporarily to various areas throughout the State of Hawaii and across the Pacific Region.

Laws and Regulations

The Zone and Refuge Officers are primarily responsible for enforcing refuge and wildlife laws, including but not limited to the:

Zone and Refuge Officers are also empowered to enforce all criminal laws, including traffic violations, drugs, and warrants for arrest as they relate to trespass, hunting, fishing, and the taking of wildlife on Federal lands, and in some instances boating safety related to refuge lands and waters. Service Officers work joint patrols and coordinate with the State Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), Maui Police Department, and the Sheriff Division of the State Department of Public Safety.