Suzanne Case is on track to keep her post as chair of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources for another four years.

The Senate Water and Land Committee, chaired by Kai Kahele, voted 5-0 Monday in support of Gov. David Ige’s nominee. Confirmation by the full Senate is expected later this month.

DLNR Suzanne Case at the Legislature.
DLNR Chair Suzanne Case at the Legislature. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Kahele, Sen. Gil Riviere and others peppered Case with questions during the hearing at the Capitol. They wanted to know about water rights, Mauna Kea, feral cats and more.

While the committee’s decision was unanimous, support for Case was mixed in 110 pages of written testimony.

Many backed Case, the former head of The Nature Conservancy who became chair of DLNR in 2015 after Ige’s first choice, Carleton Ching, ended up lacking the votes due to his work as a lobbyist for a major developer.

Ige’s Cabinet members, county agencies, attorneys and Democratic groups lauded her leadership and intelligence.

But many opposed her, citing her positions on the Thirty Meter Telescope project atop Mauna Kea, A&B’s permits to divert streams from east Maui and the threats feral cats pose to endangered animals.

Read the testimony here.


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