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Webinar: Analyzing Conservation and Resources Enforcement disposition data from convicted cases

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Thursday, 14 July 2022, 4:00

Thursday, July 14, 2022. 4:00 PM. Webinar: Analyzing Conservation and Resources Enforcement disposition data from convicted cases. Jake Franco, Hawaii Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE). Sponsored by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. More information here. Register here

.Abstract: Enforcement and prosecution are critical tools in natural resource management, alongside research, policy, and direct conservation management actions. The Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), a division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), is responsible for enforcing rules and regulations that serve to protect, conserve, and manage the natural, cultural, and historic resources of Hawaii. There is a major knowledge gap regarding patterns in how natural resource violations are handled during enforcement and prosecution activities. Historically, only two analyses have been done on state enforcement data in Hawaii, despite the importance of natural resources. The evaluation of the relationship between enforcement and prosecution in regards to natural resource management is critical to improve natural resource management in the state. In this study we obtained over 1,000 records on resource violations for the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement from Hawaii's Judiciary Electronic Filing and Service System. We then categorized violations (e.g. poaching, boating, fishing) and their outcome (e.g. type and degree of penalty) identifying areas where enforcement and/or prosecution may not be adequate to meet current resource protection needs. For the majority of the citations, penalties were reduced or dismissed without fines. Among these citations, repeat offenders were common. The results collected raise alarms regarding the need for increased communication between enforcement and prosecution to improve the effectiveness of citations as deterrents to crime.

Bio(s): Jake Franco (he/him) is an undergraduate student at University of Hawaii at Mnoa. He is currently pursuing a B.S. degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management and is a member of the Hawaii Wildlife Ecology Lab. His mentors are Dr. Melissa Price and Cole Hendrickson. Jake's research is finding the efficacy of the Hawai'i State Judicial System handling citations written by the Hawaii's Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement branch of the state's Department of Land and Natural Resources. This project began as an undergraduate internship and eventually turned into a research project funded by the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii. Jake has presented his findings at the State of Hawaii Department of Aquatic Resources Holomua 30x30 Panel, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Project Showcase, and soon the Hawaii Conservation Conference. Jake is very passionate about fisheries and wildlife management; he hopes his work can improve the outcomes of environmental court cases, provide a stronger connection between the court and enforcement, and help maintain Hawai'is natural resources.

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