Hawaii Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources

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Hawaii Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $111,533,000
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Hawaii Revised Statutes, 171-3
Selection Method:  Appointed by the governor
Current Officeholder

Carty Chang.png
Name:  Carty Chang
Assumed office:  January 1, 2015
Compensation:  $133,536
Other Hawaii Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorAttorney GeneralDirector of FinanceAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerDirector of Commerce and Consumer AffairsChairperson of Land and Natural ResourcesDirector of Labor and Industrial RelationsPublic Utilities Commission
The Hawaii Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources is a state executive position in the Hawaii state government. The chairperson heads the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources, a seven-person state body responsible for conserving and managing Hawaii's natural resources and the exploitation thereof. The chairperson is the board's executive, and directly manages the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, the agency responsible for implementing the board's policies. Like all Hawaii state executives, the chairperson is appointed by the governor with the consent of the state Senate.[1]

Current officeholder

The current acting chairperson is Carty Chang, who was appointed on December 31, 2014, by Gov. David Ige (D). Chang previously served as chief engineer of the department's engineering division for five years.[2]

Opposition to chair nominee

Gov. Ige named Carleton Ching as his nominee for department chair on January 23, 2015. The announcement drew the ire of local environmental groups concerned about Ching's background as a developer. Ching currently serves as vice president of community and government relations at Castle & Cooke Hawaii, a real estate development firm. A statement opposing the appointment was signed by the Conservation Council of Hawaii along with 21 other groups and 5,000 individuals before delivery to the governor's office. Castle & Cooke's involvement in a 3,500-unit housing development on productive farm land was the focus of the opposition. Ige cited Ching's business experience and their shared vision for the state's land policy in defending the appointment. The Hawaii State Senate must approve of Ching's appointment before he can assume office.[3][4]


The Board of Natural Resources and, by extension, the position of chairperson, is created by state law.[5]

Hawaii Revised Statutes, 171-3

(a) The department of land and natural resources shall be headed by an executive board to be known as the board of land and natural resources. The department shall manage, administer, and exercise control over public lands, the water resources, ocean waters, navigable streams, coastal areas (excluding commercial harbor areas), and minerals and all other interests therein and exercise such powers of disposition thereof as may be authorized by law.

The position of chairperson itself is in the next subsection.[6]

Hawaii Revised Statutes, 171-4

(c) The governor shall select a chairperson of the board from among its members. The chairperson shall call and preside at meetings and may appoint a member of the board as secretary. The members of the board shall choose one of their number to act as chairperson during the absence or disability of the chairperson.


There are no particular qualifications for the chairperson or members of the Board of Natural Resources, but state law requires that at least one member have a background in "conservation and natural resources," meaning either a college degree in a relevant field, or "work history sufficient to demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge." Additionally, there may not be more than three members from each political party.[7]

Hawaii Revised Statutes, 171-4

At least one member of the board shall have a background in conservation and natural resources, as evidenced by:

(1) A college degree in a relevant field, including forestry, wildlife conservation, geology, environmental science, or marine biology; or

(2) Work history sufficient to demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge in the subject of land and natural resources, including parks and recreation, public lands management, natural area reserves, aquatic resources, boating and recreation, forestry and wildlife, water resources management, or conservation and resources.


Hawaii state government organizational chart

All members of the Board of Natural Resources, including the chairperson, are appointed by the governor with the consent of the state Senate. Of the board's seven members, four represent one of each of Hawaii's land districts, and three serve at-large. Board members serve four-year terms, beginning on January 1 of the year after they were appointed and expiring on December 30 four years later.[8]

Term limits

No board member may be appointed to more than two consecutive terms.[8]


Section 26-34 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes provides that vacancies in the board be filled according to Article V, Section 6 of the Hawaii Constitution. If a vacancy occurs, the governor appoints a replacement with the consent of the state Senate. If the Senate is out of session when the vacancy occurs, the governor may appoint a temporary replacement to exercise the powers of attorney general until the legislature reconvenes.[8]


See Energy policy in Hawaii for information on the state's energy portfolio and goals.

The chairperson is the executive member of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, and is the administrative head of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. The board sets out conservation and regulatory policy for Hawaii's land, air water and other natural resources, which the department then implements.


  • Aquatic resources
  • Boating and Ocean Recreation
  • Conservation and Resources Enforcement
  • Engineering
  • Hunter Education Program
  • Bureau of Conveyances
  • Forestry and Wildlife
  • Historic Preservation
  • Land
  • Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands
  • State Parks[9]

State budget

See also: Hawaii state budget and finances

The Department of Land and Natural Resources's budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 was $111,533,000.[10]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected and appointed executives in Hawaii are determined by the Hawaii Commission on Salaries, which was established by constitutional amendment in 2006. Passage of this amendment by the public added the following language to Article XVI of the state constitution:

Article XVI, Section 3.5 of the Hawaii Constitution

Text of Section 3.5:

There shall be a commission on salaries as provided by law, which shall review and recommend salaries for the justices and judges of all state courts, members of the legislature, department heads or executive officers of the executive departments and the deputies or assistants to department heads of the executive departments as provided by law, excluding the University of Hawaii and the department of education. The commission shall also review and make recommendations for the salary of the administrative director of the State or equivalent position and the salary of the governor and the lieutenant governor.

Any salary established pursuant to this section shall not be decreased during a term of office, unless by general law applying to all salaried officers of the State.

Not later than the fortieth legislative day of the 2007 regular legislative session and every six years thereafter, the commission shall submit to the legislature its recommendations and then dissolve.

The recommended salaries submitted shall become effective as provided in the recommendation, unless the legislature disapproves the entire recommendation as a whole by adoption of a concurrent resolution prior to adjournment sine die of the legislative session in which the recommendation is submitted; provided that any change in salary which becomes effective shall not apply to the legislature to which the recommendation for the change in salary was submitted.[11]

The commission consists of seven members selected by the governor (two seats), the President of the Hawaii State Senate (two seats), Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives (two seats) and the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court (one seat). Commissioners meet every six years to evaluate salaries for executive, judicial and legislative officials. Their recommendations go into effect unless the Hawaii State Legislature votes to reject the entirety of the commission's final report. The commission last met in November 2012 and made recommendations for official salaries between 2013 and 2018.[12]


In 2014, the chairperson received a salary of $133,536, according to the Council of State Governments.[13]


In 2013, the chairperson received a salary of $103,512. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[14]


In 2010, the chairperson received a salary of $103,512.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Hawaii Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

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Contact info

1151 Punchbowl St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 587-0400
E-mail: dlnr@hawaii.gov

See also

External links