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

William Aila.jpg
Name:  William Aila
Assumed office:  November 29, 2010
Compensation:  $103,512
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 chairperson is William Aila, who was appointed on November 29, 2010, by incoming Governor Neil Abercrombie. As Aila serves a term coterminous with that of the governor, his tenure in office will end in December 2014, unless he is reappointed.

Before becoming chairperson, Aila was the small boat harbormaster of Waianae, HI. He has worked for the Department of Land and Natural Resources for more than 23 years in the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation.[2]


The Board of Natural Resources and, by extension, the position of chairperson, is created by state law.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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 terms, beginning on January 1 of the year after they were appointed and expiring on December 30 four years later.[6]

Term limits

No board member may be appointed to more than two consecutive terms.[6]


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.[6]


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[7]

State budget

The Department of Land and Natural Resources's budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 was $111,533,000. [8]


In 2010, members of the Board of Land and Natural Resources 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.

Recent news

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"Natural+Resources"&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss Hawaii Chairperson of Land and Natural Resources News Feed

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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