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Posted: Monday, July 28th, 2014 10:59 AM HST

Officials address Big Island hunting concerns

By Associated Press

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) Officials are trying to balance conservation with access to hunting grounds as a federal agency is preparing a plan for designating 19,000 acres of critical habitat in North Kona.

Representatives from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources met with a group of Big Island hunters and lawmakers over the weekend.

West Hawaii Today reports hunters expressed concerns over shrinking hunting area.

The Fish and Wildlife Service plans to finalize a proposal within the next few months. Federal and state officials will examine state lands that are already under protection in the area, in an effort to reduce the area that will be under federal designation.

DLNR Chairman William Aila says it's important to look at integrating state lands that are already closed.

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