Ke‘e Beach, Ha‘ena State Park. Photo courtesy of DLNR
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks will hold a public meeting in Hanalei this week on the Master Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for Ha‘ena State Park. The public is encouraged to provide input during the meeting.
Ha‘ena State Park lies at the end of the road on Kauaʻi’s North Shore. It is a popular destination for visitors and local residents, offering dry and wet caves, the trailhead for Na Pali Coast and many beach-related activities.
The DLNR Division of State Parks and consultant PBR Hawai‘i have worked collaboratively with the community to develop and refine a Master Plan for the park. The public meeting will he held Wednesday, Aug. 19, at Hanalei Elementary School Cafeteria from 6 to 8 p.m.
As part of the master planning process, a 32 member Master Plan Advisory Committee was established for the purpose of refining a community preferred plan, focusing on the cultural and historical significance of the area.
The MPAC is comprised of Kupuna, Hâ‘ena ‘ohana, cultural practitioners, the Hui Maka‘ainana o Makana, and representatives from organizations such as the Hanalei Watershed Hui, Hanalei Hawaiian Civic Club, Hanalei-Ha‘ena Community Association, Hanalei Roads Committee, Limahuli Garden Preserve, Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, Kaua‘i Northshore Business Council, Princeville Community Association, Kayaks Kaua‘I, and government agencies such as OHA, County of Kaua‘i Planning Department and DOT, Highways Division.
At the end of the road, the park is destination for more than 2,000 visitors a day during summer as it is also the gateway to the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park. In 2007, it was the third most heavily visited park in the State Park system, resulting in parking and vehicle congestion affecting the significant natural and cultural resources that make it so desirable a place to visit.
One of the recommendations proposed is to implement a daily visitor limit of 900. This does not include cultural practitioners, special user groups such as halau, lo‘i work groups, nor hikers with permits to the Kalalau Trail and hunters with valid hunting permits.
In the near term plan, for the public’s safety, an Interpretive Corridor will be built makai of the highway, connecting a welcome pavilion to Ke‘e Beach, taking people out and away from a rockfall hazard area. The corridor consists of an elevated boardwalk that will traverse the taro lo‘i being cultivated by members of the Hui Maka‘ainana o Makana. The proposed Welcome Pavilion is a way to manage access to the park and to provide visitors with an orientation session that seeks to inform and educate them about the resources in the area.
The draft EIS is currently available for viewing on the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s website with a public comment deadline of Sept. 8.
Comments should be sent to Lauren Tanaka, Division of State Parks, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 310, Honolulu, HI 96813 or by email to: Lauren.A.Tanaka@hawaii.gov or to Kimi Yuen, PBR Hawaii, 1001 Bishop St., Suite 650, Honolulu, HI 96813 with email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive a written response, include your full name and mailing address if sending comments by email.