State authorities investigating theft of koa on Kauai

Published  10:50 AM HST Oct 01, 2013
LIHUE, Hawaii -

Authorities are investigating the theft of koa from state lands on Kauai, including Kokee State Park and Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve.

State Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward says the amounts taken vary from scene to scene.

She told The Garden Island the thefts appear to be increasing and occurring in more visible areas.

Ramona Costa saw large chunks of koa carved out of a pair of koa trees when she returned to Kauai from Maui this summer to spend a month in Kokee.

Costa says the trunk of one of the trees was cut vertically, exposing its dark red core. Fresh sawdust lay on the ground next to it.

The expensive, sought-after wood is often used to make fine furniture and crafts.

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