American Jungle Producer Responds to Allegations by State Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

The producer of History Channel’s latest TV Series “American Jungle” has responded to the allegations made by the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources.

TJaye Forsythe

TJaye Forsythe

TJaye Forsythe posted the following on Facebook tonight:

I can no longer be silent. I’ve been informed that the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has made a statement regarding the show “American Jungle”. The press release alleges that the show is “inaccurate, offensive, and in some cases, potentially illegal”.

Let me get straight to the point of being “inaccurate.” This is a television show not a documentary. Television shows have fictional and non-fictional elements to them. “American Jungle” was considered more of a reality show because these are not actors and they are not reading from a script. If the show was meant to be an accurate depiction of hunting in Hawaii, we would have created a documentary. If the DLNR believes that the show is “inaccurate” then I believe they’ve answered their own question about “American Jungle” just being a television show. Like the show Hawaii 5-0, I don’t believe this is how police procedures are done in the State of Hawaii because I know it’s just a show.

Second, what is “offensive” is that DLNR has made a press release placing false allegations on A&E and History Channel without making any contact with the network. I have been informed by the network that no one from the DLNR had contacted them prior to making the press release to clear up any inaccurate or illegal issues. DLNR claims that “filming may have occurred on private land, the maps depicted in the show clearly demark areas that are under DLNR’s jurisdiction.” DLNR decides to use the animated map on the television show and claims it clearly marks the areas they believed were used in filming. For those who have watched the show, it is obvious that this animated map is not drawn to scale and has no ratio measurements to pinpoint the exact locations. DLNR’s use of the animated map from the television show indicates the extent of their investigation. DLNR did not contact the network to clear the private and public land issue. Instead, they chose to use an animated map from the television show. A quick call to the network would have clarified that it was private land.

Third, since the filming is on private land, does DLNR now feel that they are going to begin regulating what can be done on private land? Their concern was that there may have been illegal hunting at night. Was DLNR on site during filming to see the time the hunt took place and if the pig was alive? Again, this is a television show, and no one from the network was contacted by DLNR to clarify if any illegal activity took place. In fact, Governor Neil Abercrombie stated, “If we discover any laws or regulations have been broken we will vigorously pursue legal and/or criminal charges.” Is this a witch hunt? How can you discover if any laws were broken when you do not contact the network and decide to do your own investigation by watching an edited television show?

Finally, and most importantly, DLNR states that the “series depicts ‘clans’ that are fighting over access trails to territorial hunting grounds that inaccurately portray restrictive access to Hawaii’s public lands, which are held in public trust for the people.” DLNR continues by stating that “the cultural insensitivity of the series is also a concern.”

But I believe the biggest and most important issue of “territorial hunting grounds” is DLNR’s plan to ban hunting within 4,800 acres of public forest located south of Hilo. This DLNR “land grab” is the biggest territory war that the hunters of the Big Island have ever faced. This “land grab” calls for installing 17 miles of fencing to keep pigs, goats and sheep out and will extend almost to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park boundary. The area would be closed to hunting as DLNR’s way of protecting the ecosystem from invasive species. If the land is truly held in the “public trust for the people” why are you taking away these hunters rights to gather on land that has been providing food for their families for generations? You are taking away these hunting grounds like a “thief in the night.” You claim that you are concerned about “cultural insensitivity”. Where is your cultural sensitivity to these hunters as you threaten the local culture by targeting one of its traditional food sources?

DLNR is a bully taking away rights, threatening cultural livelihood and even trying to censor what can be shown on television. To this I say, long live “American Jungle” for exposing the land grab issues DLNR was trying to hide and showing how hostile Hawaii is towards the filming industry.

If I had known “American Jungle” would have received this much attention from the DLNR, I would have made an accurate documentary showing the “inaccurate, offensive, and in some cases, potentially illegal” land grab issue that threatens these Big Island hunter’s way of life. This documentary would have exposed the DLNR’s land grab as the largest territory war that hunters of the Big Island have ever faced.


9 Responses

  1. This show is stupid!. Hawaii hunters no act like that. Clans? Really? So Hollywood.

    • Really, that’s not how no Hawaii hunters no act like??? What you know brah? Since when do the big island hunters follow the online social media? This SHOW good!

  2. This show depicts how ignorant you are mr. Rusty boar. Get educated about the native ecosystem brah!!! I’m from the big island and this isn’t the way we hunt. You should be ashamed of yourself!!!
    I can’t believe you support this comedy show!!!

  3. I have hunted for over 30+ years, many of those years a pig hunter on the Kohala side of the Big Island. CLAN”S I have never met a CLAN member to date!!! Forsythe (RUSTY BOAR) you have brought shame to the Legal Hawaii hunters, Man Up! You did it for your own interests not the interests of Hawaii’s people and the true Hunbting community. By the way are most of the hunters hunting with sears and knives because can’t use firearms?

  4. And now we can all see quite clearly who in the hunting community supported the “fictitious” portrayal of Hawaii’s hunters… Wow, founder, you should be ashamed of yourself for even being marginally connected to such a ridiculous show! And yeah, according to one of the “clan” members the series is at least partly scripted. I was born and raised on the Big Island and know a few of the “hunters” on American Jungle and their bios are so fake. Unless going to college is a euphemism for spending a few years in prison nowadays. My boyfriend and many of our friends been hunting for 20+ years and are unaware of any “clan territory wars” brewing in the same areas filmed for this show. There are always jerks around, hunters or not, people who think they are entitled to “mark” their spot from mauka to makai, but generally you get the spot if you get there first. How the hell is anyone gonna catch pigs if they’re too busy fighting eachother?!

  5. there are NO native species in the area. No mammals at any rate. The Polynesians arrived in Hawai’i during the late 1st millennium CE.

  6. Although I can understand your position about the show being fictitious I do have concerns that many folks watching “The History Channel” assume that what they are watching is closer to fact than fantasy. I live in Hawaiʻi, and have also lived in NY, and I know that “The Sopranos” did not depict an average family from New Jersey, but many people, upon finding out that I come from that area, ask me about the gangsters who lived next door. I also work for a government scientific organization that spent a lot of effort fielding thousands of inquiries about mermaids after a Discovery Center fictional program on them. In the same vane, your show does an extreme disservice to the people of Hawaiʻi through the portrayal of Big Island hunters. If you have the passion, and the guts to do a real documentary about invasive species issues, gathering rights, and land management issues in Hawaiʻi then go ahead and do it. Iʻd definitely check it out. But if you want to follow the blood trail of greed by mis-representing people already living on the margins, please go somewhere else to do it, the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi have been mis-represented enough throughout history.

    • Andy, I really liked your comment. Thanks for detailing the problems and giving some examples out but I would also agree this show does a disservice to the people of Hawaii.

  7. You’re an idiot. It’s not a “land grab” by DLNR. It’s a conservation practice to protect the native species in the area.

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