(BIVN) – The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to the closure of six state parks on the Big Island, as well as a number of other offices and facilities under the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources.
DLNR says the following parks will be closed effective, March 18, 2020:
- ‘Akaka Falls State Park
- Kekaha Kai State Park
- Wailoa River State Recreation Area
- Wailuku River State Park
- Hāpuna Beach SRA
- Kīholo State Park Reserve
State Parks Offices statewide are closed to in-person access, DLNR says, although caretakers will continue to maintain, monitor and service parks during these closures. Camping and pavilion use permits are suspended, and vendors and concessions are being contacted with cease-of-operations instructions.
The move is being made “out of an abundance of caution and to facilitate social distancing recommendations” to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. In a Tuesday media release, DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said, “We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time of major inconvenience. We intend to reopen parks and facilities as soon as the novel coronavirus is no longer a threat. These steps are being taken to protect all visitors and constituents, as well as our staff, while maintaining a high level of service.”
DLNR also annoucned the following state-wide closures, listed alphabetically by division or office:
Bureau of Conveyances (BOC)
- The public reference room #123 in the Kalanimoku State Office Building will be closed starting Wed, 3/18/20 until further notice. Most, but not all, research normally done in this facility can be accomplished online.
- The BOC recording office room #120 in the Kalanimoku State Office Building is continuing to conduct document recording. Electronic or mail-in recordings are strongly recommended: (online) or Bureau of Conveyances, P.O. Box 2867, Honolulu, HI 96803.
Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM)
- The CWRM office, room 227, in the Kalanimoku State Office Building is closed to in-person access.
- All permit applications accepted by mail or electronic transmission: firstname.lastname@example.org
- CWRM is not currently accepting hand-delivered applications.
Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR)
All DAR offices across the state are closed to in-person access. People can apply for licenses, permits and registrations on the DAR website or by calling (808) 587-0100.
Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR)
- All DOBOR District and Harbor offices are closed to in-person access.
- All public restrooms facilities within harbors are closed.
- All existing and new Marine Event Permits involving more than 50 people are being cancelled.
- Payments for slips, revocable permits & leases, vessel registrations & transfers should be submitted online or via mail: vessel.ehawaii.gov or DOBOR, 4 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, HI 96819
Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement
- All DOCARE offices statewide closed to in-person access. Anyone needing in-person services such as evidence releases or report copies should call DOCARE to make arrangements.
- All in-person State Hunter Education classes are suspended. On-line courses continue, but in-person testing requirements are suspended. Replacement hunter education cards can be processed online. Hunter Education offices in Honolulu and Waimea are closed to in-person access.
- DOCARE officers will be patrolling all closed facilities and enforcing these closures. Anyone caught in a closed area is subject to law enforcement actions including the possibility of citations and/or arrest.
- Please report suspected resource violations to 643-DLNR (3567) or via the free DLNRTip app.
Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW)
- DOFAW announces a 30-day pause for deer hunting season in the Lānaʻi Game Management Area. Permits and reservations for deer hunts for March 21st, 22nd,28th, 29th and April 4th, 5th, 11th & 12th have been cancelled. Efforts are underway to notify hunters impacted by this cancellation.
- Hawai ‘i island’s hunting tag requirements will be waived for the Spring Turkey and the Puuanhulu Archery season.
- At this time, there are no additional closures of State Forest Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, other Game Management Areas, Natural Area Reserves, or trails in the Nā Ala Hele Trails & Access Program. (Please note: Mānoa Falls and ‘Aihualama trails are currently closed due to unsafe and slippery conditions).
- No new permits for Hawai‘i Island’s Waimanu campsites, Keanakolu cabins and Ainapo cabin will be issued. All existing permits are suspended and full refunds will be issued.
- There are no restrictions on otherwise permitted activities, including public access, hunting and recreation.
- All DOFAW offices statewide are closed to in-person access.
- Hunting licenses are available online.
- Camping permits are available online.
- Collection permits are available upon request at: email@example.com
- Hiking permits for Lulumahu and Kuaokala trails are available online.
- Poamoho hiking permits are available online.
DLNR Main Office (Chair’s Office)
- Offices at 1151 Punchbowl Street, in the Kalanimoku State Office Building have limited in-person access.
- Please call the number above or contact DLNR at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Engineering Division Office, Room 221, in the Kalanimoku State Office Building are closed to in-person access, except for deliveries and mail drop off/pick-up.
- E-mail inquiries to email@example.com
Administrative Services Office (Fiscal Office)
The office at 1151 Punchbowl Street, in the Kalanimoku State Office Building, is not accepting walk-in payments. Payments can be mailed to P.O. Box 621, Honolulu, HI 96809-0621.
State Historic Preservation Office (SHPD)
- SHPD Offices are closed to in-person access.
- Communications, including formal project submittals must be sent electronically.
- The SHPD Librarian and GIS Specialist will respond to requests for digital library and archival materials, and GIS data on a first-come, first-served basis.
- To report the inadvertent discovery of a burial site, please call the number above.
Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC)
- KIRC’s Wailuku Office is closed to in-person access.
- All Kaho‘olawe trolling permits will only be accepted by mail. Boat stickers and permits will be mailed to applicants.
- Mail permit applications to: 811 Kolu St., Suite 201, Wailuku, HI 96793
- The KIRC will be continuing recovery and restoration activities due to a recent wildfire on Kaho‘olawe, but work groups are being reduced in size.
All Land Division Offices statewide are closed to in-person access.
Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL)
- OCCL Offices are closed to in-person access.
- For information about Conservation District regulations and policies visit the OCCL webpage.
- Applications and inquiries can be mailed to Office of Conservation & Coastal Lands, P.O. 621, Honolulu, HI 96809-0621.
Along with the Hawaiʻi siland parks listed above, the DLNR Division of State Parks is also closing:
Kauaʻi: All State Parks, Recreational Piers, Wilderness Parks and Historic Parks
Maui: Iao Valley State Monument, Wai’anapanapa State Park, Kaumahina State Wayside, Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside, Makena State Park, Polipoli State Recreational Area-cabin and tent camping
Molokai: Pala’au State Park
Oʻahu: All State Parks, Monuments, Waysides, Lookouts, Historical Sites and Recreation Areas
Chair Case commented, “While we are disappointed to have to close parks and facilities and to cancel hunts, camping, special use permits and events, due to the necessity of social distancing, the health and safety of our staff serving the public and the safety of the community is our highest priority. We continue working very closely with other state agencies and will provide updates about any additional closures or restrictions that might be necessary to keep everyone safe.”