By OSKAR GARCIA
HONOLULU (AP) - A Hawaii House member from the Big Island is introducing five bills designed to keep hunting lands intact and promote the culture of hunting to children and others.
Rep. Cindy Evans of North Kona and Kohala said Friday that hunters should be recognized as conservationists, who care about the land and wildlife.
Relationships between hunters and state officials have been strained in recent years because of land access issues and invasive populations of axis deer on Maui and the Big Island.
One bill would require the Department of Land and Natural Resources to not reduce the total acreage of hunting lands available after Dec. 1. If it does close certain areas, the state would have to make comparable land with comparable hunting opportunities available in another area.