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Ige declares Maui County a disaster area

HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige issued an emergency proclamation Friday declaring the County of Maui, which has suffered under drought conditions since March 2019, a disaster area.

The proclamation enables the state to provide relief from disaster damages, losses, suffering caused by the disaster, and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people.

Due to persistent drought conditions, ranches and farms in Maui County have suffered significant economic loss. In addition, large numbers of axis dear have migrated into agricultural and developed areas seeking food and water, devastating farms and contributing to crop loss. Hundreds of deer have died, and decomposing carcasses threaten to contaminate streams and the ocean.

“The drought has hit Maui County hard, and I am declaring it a disaster area so we can take immediate measures to reduce and control the axis deer populations and to remove and dispose of the carcasses quickly,” said Ige.

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said: “Maui County’s farmers and ranchers are very grateful to Governor Ige for signing the emergency drought proclamation.

“Since this drought started nearly two years ago, our agricultural sector has sustained substantial pasture and crop damage from axis deer in search of food.

“Moloka‘i has especially been impacted by starvation and death in its deer population. This proclamation helps us to overcome regulatory barriers, and it can unlock state and federal funding to mitigate some of their financial losses. We appreciate the governor’s help in solving these problems,” Victorino said.

The emergency proclamation is in effect through March 28.
Source: The Garden Island

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