(BIVN) – An area near the Mauna Kea Recreation Area could serve as a future shooting range, if state officials and gun enthusiasts can reach an agreement.
During Tuesday evening’s Hawaiʻi County Game Management Advisory Commission meeting in Hilo, chair Tom Lodge said the commission’s Gun Range Working Group was eyeing Puʻu Kaohe, next to Mauna Kea Recreation Area, as a potential location. Lodge said he was later told by the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources that the spot would not work due to noise concerns.
“Too noisy for whom?” asked commissioner James O’Keefe. “There is traffic going by there. It would be daytime only, so we’re not talking about people asleep in the cabins, right?”
Lodge wants to put together a formal presentation with a renewed request for the Puʻu Kaohe area.
“We’re gonna do… a sound test,” Lodge said, “and we have somebody already… looking into getting that done for us. So, we’ll see when that gets accomplished. Hopefully in the next few weeks.”
“Maybe the matter is still open,” said Joey Mello, the Hawai’i Branch DLNR DOFAW Wildlife Program Manager, who was in attendance during the GMAC meeting. “We’re gonna move forward [to] take care of the safety issues up at the the 16-mile target area. I hesitate calling that a range. It’s not supposed to be a big range. It’s just some place we can go target shoot. But we do want to make some safety improvements.”
“They would also like to proceed with doing something out at Manuka, with the same idea. A legal target shooting area,” Mello said, adding that DLNR is still looking, long term, at “doing something down at Puʻu Anahulu.”