Part-time Kaua'i resident fined over $40K for fatally shooting nene geese
Steven Cookson was convicted of five misdemeanor state charges.
KOLOA, Hawaii - A part-time Kaua’i resident must pay over $40,000 in fines after shooting four nene geese last year in Koloa.
Steven Cookson, 72, was convicted Tuesday of five misdemeanor state charges of taking an endangered or threatened species, said Justin F. Kollar, Kaua’i County prosecuting attorney.
An investigation by the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed Cookson used a pellet gun to kill the nene on Feb. 7, 2017. The next day, Cookson attempted to kill another nene near his residence in the Kukui’ula subdivision.
Cookson entered no contest pleas to each charge in the environmental court complaint.
“We are very grateful to Jean Olbert of the DLNR, and Special Agent Victoria Owens of the USFWS for their thorough and professional investigation of this matter,” Kollar said. “The protection of our threatened and endangered species is an important part of our mission.”
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nearly 3,000 nene geese have populations on Kaua’i, Maui, Hawai’i Island and Moloka’i. The nene is currently listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.