NORTH KONA, Hawaii: The Department of Land and Natural Resources has issued the following news release in advance of an October 1st vehicle restriction at Kiholo State Park.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks will conduct an extensive coastal area clean-up of Kiholo State Park Reserve, starting Saturday, October 1, as it prepares for managed vehicular access and camping by permit.
From October 1 to approximately November 17, 2011, the makai gate along Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway (near mile-marker 83) will be closed to vehicular access. Pedestrian access from the highway will be allowed for day use only during this time. By mid-November, 2011, permits for camping at Kiholo State Park Reserve will be available.
The Division of State Parks, in close collaboration and with considerable support from the community non-profit organization Hui Aloha Kiholo, will remove discarded debris and rubbish, install camping area signs at designated campsites, construct and install new gates, install barriers to vehicular access to the beach, and clarify existing footpaths to beach and camping areas.
“For years, the public has enjoyed the unmanaged beauty of Kiholo Bay. In 2006 this area was designated as a State Park Reserve – and vehicular access and both day and unauthorized nighttime use increased rapidly. Over the years, there have been increasing numbers of vehicles driving and parking on the beach, large parties, and people camping wherever they could find space,” said William Aila, DLNR Chairperson
“Camping is currently illegal, and has reached such large proportions, particularly on three-day weekends, that it must either be eliminated or managed,” Aila added. “This management action is needed to preserve the natural and cultural resources that made Kiholo ideal to be designated as a State Park Reserve,” he added.
“Also, archaeological resources are being degraded due to the public driving on the beach and indiscriminately moving rocks and cutting vegetation for camping. The basic aesthetic enjoyment and the natural peace of a wilderness experience is destroyed by uncontrolled public use,” he said.
The lack of adequate restroom capacity, (there are currently only a few port-potties) has created a human waste and growing public health issue. The public health and safety impacts of irresponsible campers makes intervention now on this pre-existing and unauthorized use critical and necessary.
Under Park Reserve status, the 4,362 acres of land were intended to be simply preserved for the public’s future and day use only until a plan is prepared to determine management and various public uses. A Master Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is now being prepared to guide the Division of State Parks in determining the future public use and management of this valuable public resource. Meetings to gather pubic input to this plan will be conducted in the near future on the island of Hawai‘i. The Master Planning/EIS process has included archeological surveys of the Park reserve – providing documented knowledge that the area has a rich history of significant Hawaiian culture still in place that must be protected.
The interim camping management plan consists of:
• Camping by permit, only on weekends and holidays
• Driving on the beach will not be allowed
• There will be specific, designated areas to camp (located to avoid impacts to cultural sites).
• Permits will be available on-line for a standard fee: 1-6 people will cost
$13.20, with a maximum of 10 per site costing a total of $22.00 (for Hawai‘i residents)
Permits will be available at all State Parks offices or online at: https://camping.ehawaii.gov/camping/