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New Campaign Encourages Responsible Outdoor Recreation

The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) is asking residents and visitors to engage with nature responsibly and respectfully through a new awareness campaign featuring its mascot, Pono the Nēnē.

In a series of five 30-second videos on the DOFAW website, Pono the Nēnē shares tips on a variety of topics, including how to:

  • Hike Pono: clean gear to avoid spreading Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death or invasive seeds. Stay on trails to help our ecosystems stay healthy. Keep music in headphones to let others enjoy the natural music of our forests;
  • Play Pono: keep campfires safely contained and ready to extinguish. Avoid wildfire risk from fireworks by going to professional shows;
  • Gather Pono: sustainably rely on our forests for wood, fruit, foliage, and other items with landowner permission and our easy collection permit system;
  • Mālama Pono: keep wildlife wild by viewing from a distance and never leave food outdoors that might make wildlife sick; and
  • Be a Pono Pet Parent: your pet can be a life-saving hero to our native wildlife by staying indoors, in a contained backyard, or on a leash.

The videos link these messages to more detailed information like hiking safety tips and emergency numbers, ‘Firewise’ landscaping tips from the Hawaiʻi Wildfire Management Organization, information about Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, and a new Pono Pet Parent Pledge from the Hawaiʻi Veterinary Medical Association.

The Be Pono Outdoors webpage also offers Hawaiʻi residents a reward for getting involved. Anyone who watches all five videos can receive either a free Pono the Nēnē water bottle sticker or a free bumper sticker with Pono’s favorite saying: “E mālama kākou i ka ʻāina: Let’s care for the land together.”


Photo credit: DLNR

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