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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I'm heading out to Hawaii from December 14th-January 6th for the first time ever, and I'm really excited! I'll be on the Big Island the whole time and I'm pretty sure it's going to be one of the best experiences of my life, especially since I'm, oh, you know, getting married while I'm there. =)

One of the things I plan to do besides get married, though, is admire the local plant scene. I was also hoping to see wild auratus while I was there, but it looks like there either aren't any or they're pretty rare, according to some basic Googling. Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I'd love to see them! I'd also love to collect some, but I understand it takes a while and I'm not sure I'm going to be there long enough to try.

But in terms of collecting, that brings me to my main question: plants. I understand that it's okay to take certain things back to the mainland if they're packaged properly, labeled, and do not include soil, correct? If I put a bag of bare root cuttings or purchased plants in my luggage or carry-on, is the TSA going to flip? Should I just not worry about it? I'd really love to get some tropical rhododendrons while I'm there, but if it's a hassle or a huge problem for anyone I can just fork out shipping costs when I come home.

Any help would be appreciated. I'm also taking recommendations for things to do or see! =) I plan on hiking tons! Among other athletic activities...

Best,
Ash
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Getting married?!! Ash, did you forget to tell me something? :p

Grats! :D
Lol, sorry Kris! It wasn't intentional! Elena and I have been talking about getting married for a while, but it only just became legal in Hawaii and since we're going there already we thought, hey, let's do it in a beautiful place with lots of good memories. Long story short, we saw an unexpected opportunity and seized it.

So excited. :)

Best,
Ash
 

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First - CONGRATULATIONS on your upcoming wedding - of all the places where you can get married, Hawai'i does seem like the best option :)

Check out the following: How to take Hawaii plants back to the U.S. Mainland by Vanessa Sim | HAWAII Magazine | Hawaii news, events, places, dining, travel tips & deals, photos | Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai: The Best of Hawaii

Bringing back plants to the mainland US - Maui Forum - TripAdvisor

I have also bought plants from Hawai'i on Ebay, they came priority mail and I didn't see any evidence of inspection.
 

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Are you certified to scuba dive? Theres a night time manta ray scuba/snorkel trip that snorkel bobs organizes that is life changing
No need to scuba, but the experience is WAAAY COOLER if you do



Many of the nurseries/ plant producers are on the Hilo side, not the Kona side, and many sell plants pre approved by the dept of agriculture to bring home with you. As far as other plants go.... might be better to mail them
 

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In the past you could have them bare-rooted and just show them to the federal inspectors at the airport. But, I don't know if this is still the case, and they can be difficult. You can just take the plants to the state plant quarantine office (again bare-rooted) and they will inspect the plants right there. It is an easy process, esp. since you are going to NC. Fruit is a completely different thing, so don't try to do both. There are some things you can't take out like Green Jade vines, but the list isn't that big, and the nurseries will know what you can't ship. On the big island, I don't know how far you would have to drive to get to the office though.

Congratulations on the wedding! I've heard the Manta Ray thing is spectacular too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We are actually doing the manta dive! Unfortunately I'm not allowed to scuba because of a birth defect in one of my ears -- no cochlea. I can't equalize pressure on that side. Flying's quite painful (I'm already mostly deaf on the ground and completely deaf after I fly) and water pressure's way, way worse. However, I'm not letting that stop me, and I'm gonna snorkel and shine the lights down. My soon-to-be wife's done the scuba part before so she's happy to stay on the surface with me this time. She can't stop raving about it, so I'm sure I'll be stunned. Can't wait! :D

Thanks for all the well wishes and advice, everyone. I might just ship stuff back to myself. Chuck, if I can manage getting to that office I'll just do that... provided, of course, I find anything I want while I'm there (haha... ha... I'm already salivating thinking about it).

I completely forgot about the day geckos! Oh man, now I want some. Can anyone weigh in on how likely it would be that I'd get the permit in time to collect some, provided I applied for it close to my arrival time? Again, I'll be there from December 14th-January 6th.

Best,
Ash
 

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"To export chameleons, geckos or any other injurious wildlife (see Chapter 13.124
rules) requires a permit from Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Limit is a one-time permit for each household to remove up to four animals. Applications may be obtained by calling Nancy at 587-0160.

Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
Division of Forestry and Wildlife
1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 325
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 587-0164 "
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
"To export chameleons, geckos or any other injurious wildlife (see Chapter 13.124
rules) requires a permit from Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Limit is a one-time permit for each household to remove up to four animals. Applications may be obtained by calling Nancy at 587-0160.

Dept. of Land and Natural Resources
Division of Forestry and Wildlife
1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 325
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 587-0164 "
I appreciate the information, Logan -- I read about that already. What I'm asking is if I should bother. =) If there's not going to be time, I won't waste mine or theirs by attempting it!

Best,
Ash
 

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I appreciate the information, Logan -- I read about that already. What I'm asking is if I should bother. =) If there's not going to be time, I won't waste mine or theirs by attempting it!

Best,
Ash
With animals, I think I would bother, they are less cooperative about riding home hiding in your dirty socks than a plant cutting or seeds might be. It only takes a phone call to find out if you can get one in time.

I bet not many people could add such a certificate to their wedding album - I can just picture photos of the two of you hunting geckos in wedding gowns :)
 

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A friend of mine brought some back recently (day geckos that is) he drove to the permit office and they gave him one that day. He got 4 of 2 different species and gave me a pair of gold dust just for being the cool guy that I am, he told me when he left he really didn't even need the permit or at least no one asked for it....but rest assured if you don't get one they will ask for one. He was on Oahu but it should be the same for all islands, just make sure you have that aloha spirit when you talk with them
 

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First of all, awesome! My wife and I went there for 20 days this past summer for our 5 Year Reunion and it was for sure the best time of our life. ( I get pumped every time I hear someone is going because I am fully sure they will have an amazing time.)

I didn't read every post or link on here but I do have some personal experience from going there and wanting to do the same thing. Long story short my wife and I stayed with someone who is employed though the agriculture of the University of Hawaii. The technicality's of what you are allowed to bring back are pretty intense. In short you have to get whatever you plan on bringing back from a certified licensed seller after doing some research you will understand what I'm saying. That means you cant just go to the wal mart in Hilo and take home plants. You have to go to special nurseries and like you said there aren't many of those.
When I went, I so badly wanted to take just a few of the amazing broms and or plants I found and have them in my dart tank...but I didn't. I did bring some leaf litter and drift wood back for my current Hawaii build I'm working on but in technicality that wasn't allowed either and if agriculture wanted to stop me they could have.
Not only on the way back to the mainland do you go through security but you go through a agriculture department which is an entirely separate spot that personally scans every bag looking for plants and if you dont have proper plant documentation...:( bad news...

Anyhow have a blast and if you want any ideas of something to do I got a few! :D I would love to give you a few ideas from what we did. My favorite was a 11 mile hike through the jungle to waimanu valley

Moonrise in valley


panoramic of valley


Ok I'm done...sorry... every time I hear Hawaii and I can give a input i get all weird
 

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i have bought and brought back to wisconsin plants from oahu, maui, and kauai. the nurseries will let you buy plants that are preinspected and seal them into a box with special tape. noone would even consider putting any other plant into one of those boxes. not that i would recommend it but alot of people buy the plastic containers with dried fruit and nuts in them. those containers make excellent collection containers for moss, seeds, and berries. if you accidentally left it in your carry on luggage it may be allowed onto the plane even if it is scanned through 3 different xray machines. btw i have less faith in the tsa than i did about 3 years ago. good luck on the marriage i would advise a trip to the hilo side to see the nurseries there and there is a great zipline course on the northwest side of the island right before the road stops.
 
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