46 criminal citations were written and 10 off-road motorcycles were impounded as evidence after officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) observed illegal dirt biking in Maui’s Kula Forest Reserve on Sunday, July 3, 2016.
Officers cited one juvenile and nine adults and they each face multiple charges including prohibited motorized vehicle operation in a non-designated area; prohibited operation of non-four wheel drive vehicle; and several counts of vehicle and transportation prohibitions for unlicensed, untaxed and no plates. The dirt bikers allegedly accessed the forest reserve by trespassing through private property.
Acting DOCARE Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla said, “Our Maui officers have been receiving on-going complaints from hikers, hunters, and mountain bikers about illegal motorcycle riding on trails designated for foot or mountain bike traffic only. Hikers report having to jump off the trail due to a motorcyclist operating illegally. Areas of cultural significance are being damaged and natural resources are being negatively impacted.” The Kula Forest Service on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala contains designated hunting areas, numerous recreational hiking and mountain bike trails, as well as Polipoli State Park.
Redulla commented, “Some social media postings are painting DOCARE’s actions in a negative light and the dirt bikers as victims. Our officers are sworn to uphold the laws, rules and regulations, designed to protect public safety and the natural and cultural resources of Hawaii. To suggest, their actions, based on public complaints, is somehow wrong, is quite simply, not accurate.”