DLNR News Release-Outgoing Chair Case Honored by Hawaii State Senate, Dec. 9, 2022

Posted on Dec 9, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU) – As DLNR Chair Suzanne Case prepared to lead her last meeting as Chair of the State Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR), she was surprised when much of her leadership team and Senator Lorraine Inouye walked into the room.

Case completes her second term as DLNR/BLNR Chair at the end of December, leaving a legacy of tremendous accomplishments in the protection and preservation of natural and cultural resources across the state.

Sen. Inouye, who chairs the Senate’s Land and Water Committee said it’s unusual for the body to honor an outgoing department head, but given Case’s track record of moving DLNR forward, it is an appropriate recognition.

Chair Case received a large framed certificate, after Sen. Inouye detailed a long list of accomplishments, board service, and awards during her almost eight years as head of DLNR.

For 28 years, prior to joining DLNR, Case served in leadership positions with The Nature Conservancy, including as Hawai‘i Program Executive Director from 2001 until she joined DLNR in 2015. During her tenure with TNC she implemented dozens of initiatives in many western states and across the Pacific.

In addition to being chairperson of DLNR and BLNR, she is the Chair of the State Commission on Water Resource Management, co-chair of the Governor’s Sustainable Hawai‘i Initiative, the Hawai‘i Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Commission, Hawai‘i Invasive Species Committee, and as a member of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture and the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission.

Inouye said Case focused on good government, transparency, and inclusion, providing leadership for watershed protection initiatives, marine management, bio-security, food security, and renewable energy.

In her role as DLNR Chair, Case oversees eleven divisions and four offices with a combined staff of nearly 1,000. The DLNR divisions steward virtually everything to do with natural and cultural resources in Hawai‘i.

  • forestry and wildlife
  • coastal regulation
  • water resources
  • historic preservation
  • boating and ocean recreation
  • conservation enforcement
  • State parks

After receiving the Senate recognition, Case said today is a very emotional one, serving as Chair for the last time of the land board. “This is a great honor and I’ve so appreciated working with you (Sen. Inouye), and all the members of the Senate and of the legislature. I’m so happy our team has been so successful in working with the Senate and the House. It only works right when we can all talk to each other, respectfully disagree when we disagree, work hard, and try to work out any differences,” Case commented.

Due to her service as Chair of the land board, Case is limited to two consecutive terms. Her last day with DLNR is Dec. 31.

# # #


(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)


HD video – Outgoing DLNR Chair Case honored by State Senate (Dec. 9, 2022)



Photographs – Outgoing DLNR Chair Case honored by State Senate (Dec. 9, 2022):



Senate Certificate transcription: attached

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources


[email protected]

(808) 587-0396