After several years of research, community meetings and previous attempts to develop a master plan for the park, the Division of State Parks of the Department of Land and Natural Resources has completed a master plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement for Ha‘ena State Park.
And they want the public’s input on it.
Together with a 32-member community advisory committee, a team of consultants, State Parks and its contractor PBR HAWAII, refined a previous version of the master plan drafted in 2001 with a renewed emphasis on the cultural and historical significance of Ha‘ena as well as solutions to the natural hazards, traffic and parking congestion.
The DEIS was published two weeks ago in the Office of Environmental Quality Control bulletin, for a 45-day public review and comment period, which ends Sept. 8. The document can be found at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/current_issue.pdf
One recommendation in the revised master plan is to limit the number of people who enter the park to 900 a day. This suggestion came out of a number of meetings with the master plan advisory committee, a 32-member committee that was formed to help develop the plan.
That number includes hikers on the Kalalau Trail, but not overnight campers with valid permits, and may be adjusted over time. The plan envisions an educational and cultural center which will become the point of entry. An interpretive path will provide access to Ke‘e Beach along an elevated boardwalk and located makai of the current highway and is designed to take people out of a rockfall hazard zone.
Ha‘ena, the storied place at the far northwestern corner of Kaua‘i’s North Shore, is also home to one of the State of Hawai‘i’s busiest state parks, Ha‘ena State Park. Roughly 65.7 acres in area, the park contains significant cultural and ecological resources, as well as the trailhead to Kalalau Trail and the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park. Its beaches, sheltered lagoon, and scenic resources make it a popular visitor destination.
A recent rockfall hazard study identified a high-risk area along the highway which is the main visitor corridor to Ke‘e Beach. This mix of resources and the potential conflicts and safety hazards give rise to the need to develop a conscientious and comprehensive master plan in order to balance conservation, recreation, cultural integrity, and public safety.
For more information on the master plan, contact the Division of State Parks at 587-0293 or PBR Hawaii at 521-5631. Comments on the draft EIS should be sent by the Sept. 8 deadline to: Lauren Tanaka, Division of State Parks,1151 Punchbowl St. Rm. 310, Honolulu HI 96813 or Lauren.A.Tanaka@hawaii.gov, or to Kimi Yuen, PBR Hawaii, 1001 Bishop St. Suite 650, Honolulu, HI 96813, or to firstname.lastname@example.org