Introduction

INTRODUCTION TO COLLECTIONS AND HANDLING

There are many things to think about when deciding to make a collection. The first steps are to acquire information that will better guide your decisions when planning your collection. It is very important to understand all the rules and regulations regarding collections and to acquire the proper permits and permission from the proper source. This is covered in greater detail in the next section.

Another important step is to contact the group you will be doing the collection for and making sure you understand their policies and procedures regarding collections made in the wild. Make sure your target populations are acceptable candidates for collection and that the receiving party wants material from those populations. Data collection during the trip is very important and a breakdown of specific data to record is provided in the next section.

Know your target species and understand the best collection practices to avoid harming the plant. For example, make sure seeds are collected during maturity to ensure viability instead of acquiring them when immature or too old. You must think about collection technique, sanitation to prevent contamination, and handling/storage while the collected material is being transported to its final destination.

PLANNING YOUR COLLECTION - PRE COLLECTION INFORMATION

Permit applications are required for the collection of native Hawaiian plants from wild populations and should be made well in advance of your collection trip.  The type and number of permits necessary is dependant upon the federal status of the plant species1, the purpose of collection, and the location of the plant population(s).  The State and Federal agencies you may need to obtain permits from are:

            - The State of Hawaii-Department of Land and Natural Resources-Division of
               Forestry and Wildlife (DLNR-DOFAW)

            - The State of Hawaii-Department of Land and Natural Resources-Natural Area
               Reserves (DLNR-NARS)

            - The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

            - The US National Park Service (NPS)

Examples: If the proposed plant collection activity is to be conducted on State lands and the concerned species are federally listed as threatened or endangered, a State permit and USFWS permit is necessary.  If the proposed plant collection activity is to be conducted within a National Park and is federally listed as threatened or endangered, a NPS and USFWS permit are necessary.

Permitting Links

DOFAW Permitting Page
DOFAW Plant Permit Guidelines PDF
NARS Permit Guidlines PDF

Land Owner Permission

Knowledge of land ownership is necessary due to the fact that native plant populations can be dispersed over multiple properties, and a permit may be necessary from each landowner. 

When applying for permits, be prepared to provide a written proposal which include the following collection information:

Who?      The principle contact and any support individuals that may be directly
involved in the collecting activities.  Who are your cooperators (if
any) in this permit proposal?

What?     What is being collected.  What type of propagules (e.g. seeds, cuttings)
are being collected.  If collecting for research purposes, what will
happen to the plant material once the experiment is completed.

When?     The time period over which the actual plant collections will be made.
The time period over which the permit proposal activity (e.g. research
project) will occur?

Where?    Location of the target plant populations.  Where will they be
maintained/stored post-collection?

Why?      The purpose for collecting.

How?      The methodology as to how collections will be conducted.  How much
will be collected.  How will the population(s) be accessed?  How will
the collections be maintained/stored post collection?

At all times, obtain permission to access plant populations from the landowner. Why?

- The landowner may not be amenable to allowing access.

-  It is unlawful to trespass on private property.

- It exhibits common courtesy and professionalism.

-  Landowners may be a useful resource of information (e.g. current
status of the populations, exact locations, flowering season, etc.).

-  The target areas may be inaccessible or dangerous to during certain
times of the year (E.g. hunting season or the rainy season where the likelihood
of flash floods are high).

- There may be other collecting and monitoring activities occurring for the plant
species of interest that you are unaware, but the landowner has knowledge of.

Plant Distribution Agreements 

In most cases, a plant distribution agreement is included in the permit application.  Private landowners and botanical gardens may require an additional plant agreement concerning the dissemination and usage of plants, plant parts or products originating from plant material originally collected from their premises.

Intrastate Plant Inspection

Important Note: Any proposed intrastate movement of endemic Hawaiian species plant material must be stated and approved by the permitting organization's plant distribution agreement before you attempt to make any shipment.

If any transport activity is anticipated, it is advisable to inquire with your State Plant Quarantine Inspection station for any entry restrictions that may be imposed on your plant species, prior to the initiation of any collection activity.  Some plants are restricted or have limited restriction entry. 

Moving plants or plant material intrastate (between islands) through the US parcel post, hand carry items, check-in baggage, or through private parcel carriers, requires a Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) plant inspection.  Exporters of plants and plant parts should contact their nearest HDOA Plant Quarantine Office for inspection requirements. By complying with the regulations, the inspection process can be expedited resulting in fresher, quality samples reaching its destination.

Export Permits and Inspections

Important Note: Any proposed exporting activity of endemic Hawaiian species plant material must be clearly stated and approved by the permitting organization's plant distribution agreement before you attempt to make any shipment.

If any transport activity is anticipated, it is advisable to inquire with your State &/or USDA Plant Quarantine Inspection station for any entry restrictions that may be imposed on your plant species, prior to the initiation of any collection activity.  Some US States and countries have strict plant restrictions or limited entry restrictions.  For more information see the HDOA Hawaii to US Mainland page.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture in cooperation with USDA regulates the export of plants to the mainland U.S. and certain foreign countries. HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors, are able to inspect and certify that the plant materials in the shipment meets the requirements of the state or country of destination (Chapter 4-73, Plant Export Rules).  Exporters of plant materials should contact their USDA or HDOA Plant Quarantine Office for inspection and entry requirements. Through the knowledge of the regulations and adequate compliance, the inspection process can be greatly expedited.

USDA Fact Sheet for Travelers and Shippers

If you are considering moving rare or endangered Hawaiian plants interstate for research purposes, in addition to your State and/or Federal collection permits, USDA permit PPQ 588 is necessary to allow import of prohibited plant products for experimental purposes.  If you are engaged in the business of exporting throughout the US, terrestrial plants or plant products that are protected but originated from a cultivated source, USDA permit PPQ586 is necessary.  For more information see theUSDA Plant Permits page.

When you are ready to have your plant inspected at the quarantine station, some helpful hints to streamline the inspection process are:

1.   Whole potted plants can be shipped, but only soilless potting mixes are
allowed.

2.   If plants are planted in soil or mixes that include soil, bare root the plants and wash
the soil off.  Most times, bare rooting the plants prior to shipping is adequate.

3.   Plants should be free of pests and diseases, and have no residual pesticides on the
plants or in the packing material.

4.   Do not seal the box before inspection.  The plant inspectors will need to view the
plants before sealing the box closed and stamping the sealing tape on the box
certifying inspection clearance.

5.   Bring a list of the plant inventory you are transporting.

6.   Bring your permits with you.

7.   Mark the sender's and recipient's address clearly on the box.

8.   Bring sealing tape with you.