Some species of sandalwood are found only in Hawaii.
Unless steps are taken to protect them, these trees could disappear.
Sandalwood’s sweet smell has led to high international demand for its wood. Its commercial value has led to diminished native forests, as has the introduction of invasive species, says the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
A state Senate Committee on Tuesday will consider a bill that would ban unlicensed destruction and harvesting of sandalwood trees. It would also ban the export of raw and unprocessed sandalwood timber.
Violations would be punishable by fines up to $2,000.
In cases where harvesting is permitted, the measure calls for replanting when trees are removed.
In addition, the proposal includes incentives for entrepreneurs to cultivate sandalwood for conservation and commercial purposes.