Suzanne Case was approved by a 7-0 vote from the Senate Water and Land committee Friday to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The “aye” votes included the committee’s chair, former DLNR Chair Laura Thielen, and two members who voted against Bill Balfour’s nomination to the Commission on Water Resource Management, Gil Riviere and Russell Ruderman.

That vote was also held Friday.

Governor David Ige and DLNR nominee Suzanne Case before announcement of DLNR candidate. 7 april 2015. photograph by Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Gov. David Ige and DLNR nominee Suzanne Case.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Case, who is known for her leadership of The Nature Conservancy, still awaits a full Senate vote, perhaps as early as next week.

But the outcome seems far more certain than that of Gov. David Ige’s first nominee to lead the DLNR, Carleton Ching. Learning he did not have the necessary support, the governor withdrew the nomination last month just moments before the Senate was to vote on Ching.

Unlike Ching, a lobbyist for Castle & Cooke, Case carries no development-interest baggage.

Those testifying in support of Case were the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Trust for Public Land, The Outdoor Circle, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and the Surfrider Foundation.

Those in opposition were far fewer in number and included Animal Rights Hawaii, the Hawaii Hunting Association and the Hawaii Fishermen’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition.


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