Carleton Ching is an honorable man. He is articulate, personable, intelligent, hard working and from all that I know about him, no doubt he is an honorable man.
Mr. Ching may be an honorable man but he should not be confirmed as Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Please join me in opposing his nomination by emailing all Hawaii State Senators at email@example.com today and absolutely no later than Feb. 4th
The question before the Hawaii State Senate is not whether Carleton Ching is an honorable man but to whom and to what values is he honorable?
Each of us is imbued with a bias, a certain core perspective that we apply to all things in life. Our work, our friends, the books that we read, the letters we write and the statements and judgments we make daily all reflect the bias engrained within us as a result of the experiences and people that have shaped our life.
Mr. Ching does not simply work for one of Hawaii’s largest real estate developers but his professional career has to a great extent been focused on actively working to eliminate or weaken regulations intended to protect all that the Department of Land and Natural Resources is supposed to manage and protect.
As a Castle and Cooke lobbyist, VP for the Land Use Research Foundation (LURF) and Board Member for the Building Industry Association (BIA) he serves in an influential leadership position in the effort to dismantle key elements now in place to protect public trust resources.
His job at many levels over the past decade is/was to influence changes in public policy to increase the profitability of development interests via the diminishment of environmental, health, cultural and public land protections.
As a Board Member of the Building Industry Association (BIA) Mr. Chings fiduciary responsibility is to support the interests of: developers, general contractors, specialty contractors, suppliers, Realtors, architects and financial institutions.
An even more alarming indication of the deep seated bias in support of development and opposed to environmental protections is his role as Vice President at LURF. LURF’s mission is to “promote and advance the interests of the development community, particularly in the areas of land use laws and regulations.”
LURF touts as some of its major accomplishments:
*LURF fought hard to convince the U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service to reduce critical habitat designations and mandated conservation areas.
*LURF successfully lobbied to reduce requirements for developer applicant reviews by the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR/SHPD).
*LURF successfully lobbied to require the Department of Health (DOH) to delete various protections involving native Hawaii rights, historic preservation, coastal zone management and environmental impact reviews for storm water management permits.
*LURF actively opposed the requirement of landowners to provide lateral access along the coast line.
And LURF has been extremely active in what has almost become an annual effort to weaken HRS Chapter 343 (EIS Laws), they were core supporters of the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC) and numerous other efforts to exempt various development projects from environmental, health, planning and public interest laws now in place.
The mission statement of the Department of Land and Natural Resources is to: “Enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaii’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of the people of Hawaii nei, and its visitors, in partnership with others from the public and private sectors.”
We all have a bias and a unique perspective on life. Hawaii deserves a Director that is biased toward preserving the resource and protecting the public trust, not someone whose bias is clearly that of promoting increased development and profits while weakening those public trust protections.
Over twenty environmental groups are opposing the nomination of Mr. Ching to be Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Among the groups are the Conservation Council for Hawai`i, Defend O`ahu Coalition, Earthjustice, Friends of Lana`i, Hawai`i Alliance for Progressive Action, Hawai`i Wildlife Fund, Hawai`i’s Thousand Friends, Hui Ho`omalu I Ka `Aina, `Ilio`ulaokalani Coalition, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, Kanehili Hui, Kupa`a No Lana`i, Life of the Land, LOST FISH Coalition, MANA (Movement for Aloha No Ka `Aina), Maui Tomorrow, O`ahu Chapter of Aha Moku Council, Progressive Democrats of Hawai`i, Puna Pono Alliance, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, The Outdoor Circle, Wailua-Kapa`a Neighborhood Association and West Maui Preservation Association.
Please add your voice to ours by emailing a message to all Hawaii State Senators at firstname.lastname@example.org opposing confirmation. Please email your concerns as soon as possible and no later than Feb. 4th.
The Department of Land & Natural Resources Director also serves as chair of the Board of Land & Natural Resources, chair of the Commission on Water Resource Management and as the state’s Historic Preservation Officer, in addition to overseeing many programs.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources, headed by an executive Board of Land and Natural Resources, is responsible for managing, administering, and exercising control over public lands, water resources, ocean waters, navigable streams, coastal areas (except commercial harbors), minerals, and all interests therein. The department’s jurisdiction encompasses nearly 1.3 million acres of State lands, beaches, and coastal waters as well as 750 miles of coastline (the fourth longest in the country). It includes state parks; historical sites; forests and forest reserves; aquatic life and its sanctuaries; public fishing areas; boating, ocean recreation, and coastal programs; wildlife and its sanctuaries; game management areas; public hunting areas; and natural area reserves