Charges pending against poacher of Haleakala silversword plants
  • Sunday, June 16, 2019
  • 88°
Top News

Charges pending against poacher of Haleakala silversword plants

  • COURTESY HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK

    The Haleakala silversword is federally listed as threatened and found only on the slopes of Haleakala at altitudes above 6,900 feet.

Charges are pending against an alleged poacher of rare Haleakala silversword plants.

Haleakala National Park law enforcement rangers and Maui police recovered on Monday the rare plants, “ahinahina,” taken by a visitor from the summit.

Another park visitor witnessed a person taking the keiki or juvenile silverswords from the ground, place them in her clothes, then leave in a vehicle driven by another person.

That person took a photo of the alleged poacher and notified park staff, who called the park service law enforcement.

Rangers found the suspect in Paia Town an hour later with the plants.

The rangers identified the alleged poacher and driver of the vehicle, and released them.

Charges are pending against both persons.

Park biologists will try to replant the recovered silverswords, Haleakala National Park said in a news release.

“These plants are already so rare, picking them is illegal for a very good reason,” said Haleakala National Park Chief Ranger Ari Wong. “Our most important job here in the park is to protect species like this.”

The Haleakala silversword is federally listed as threatened and found only on the slopes of Haleakala at altitudes above 6,900 feet.

Removing them is a federal crime.

Comments (5)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up