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Effectiveness of Natural Resource Rule and Regulation Enforcement in Oʻahu Hawaiʻi

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Item Summary

Title:Effectiveness of Natural Resource Rule and Regulation Enforcement in Oʻahu Hawaiʻi
Authors:Hendrickson, Cole
Contributors:Carlson, Kimberly (advisor)
Natural Resources and Environmental Management (department)
Keywords:Natural resource management
Law enforcement
Environmental law
Conservation Police
Department of Land and Natural Resources
show 4 moreDivision of Conservation and Resources Enforcement
Natural Resource Law Enforcement
show less
Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:The State of Hawaiʻi’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) implements rules and regulations to enhance, protect, conserve, and manage Hawaiʻi’s unique and limited natural, cultural, and historic resources. Visitors and residents alike daily access Hawaiʻi’s lands and oceans for recreation, subsistence, collection, and much more. The Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), DLNR’s enforcement arm, enforces State rules and regulations through education, observation, investigation, and punishment of natural resource violators. However, recent research suggests several gaps and barriers in DOCARE’s effectiveness, the ability to perform the duties defined in their mission statement – the enforcement of rules and regulations that serve to protect, conserve and manage Hawaiʻi’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources. Thus, to support improved effectiveness, there is a need to examine patterns of DOCARE’s activities and develop performance metrics to measure their effectiveness. My research aimed to understand DOCARE activities in time and space, perceptions of enforcement challenges that inhibit DOCARE’s effectiveness, and develop metrics by which to measure effectiveness, by answering the following questions: 1) What are the spatial and temporal patterns of enforcement observations and investigations? 2) What are the major challenges DOCARE faces in achieving effectiveness? 3) How can DOCARE overcome these challenges and measure progress towards effectively upholding natural resource rules and regulations? To address these questions, I developed a 2014-2018 geospatial database of DOCARE observations (i.e., monitoring) and investigations into potential violations of rules and regulations on the island of O‘ahu, which contains about 67% of Hawai‘i’s residents and spans 4250 km2. I then assessed annual and seasonal trends in observations and investigations. To enhance and situate geospatial findings, I conducted in-depth interviews with DOCARE officers regarding their perceptions of effectiveness and daily routines, from which I generated barriers to and opportunities for greater effectiveness. I also developed a set of criteria and indicators to assist DOCARE in measuring effectiveness. Results indicate clear spatio-temporal patterns in DOCARE activity. Coastal areas are the primary focus of DOCARE observation and investigation activity. DOCARE conducts more fishing investigations in the dry season and more hunting investigations in the wet season. About half of interview respondents felt that DOCARE is not effective and identified several major barriers to effectiveness. For instance, around 50% of DOCARE’s investigations focus on non-natural resource-related issues such as parking and traffic infractions and homelessness. Respondents also offered creative solutions to increase effectiveness, such as collaborative enforcement agreements with other law enforcement agencies on Oʻahu to increase the time DOCARE spends fulfilling its mission statement. The results of my research can assist DOCARE to better understand patterns of officer activity and contribute to their ability to improve the allocation of their limited resources to perform the duties laid out in their mission statement.
Pages/Duration:73 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Natural Resources and Environmental Management

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