Hawaii Cannabis Business Expo and Kou Calabash Challenge

The state of Hawaii’s first and only medical cannabis magazine – Kaulana Na Pua, is pleased to announce that the Hawaii Convention Center will serve as the site for the inaugural Hawaii Cannabis Business Expo and Kou Calabash Challenge on July 17, 18, and 19, 2015.

See more here:

Hawaiian Cannabis Expo

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33rd Annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club Show

Find out how “You Can Grow Orchids” at the 33rd annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale Sunday, July 19 at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. In conjunction with this year’s theme, find informative displays illustrating what is needed to successfully nurture orchids.

Orchid Show

The free event offers attendees complimentary refreshments, plus an orchid boutonniere corsage—while they last.  Time is 8 a.m.-2 p.m. with the Daifukuji Taiko Drummers performing at 10 a.m.

Enjoy an elaborate and colorful display of live blooming cattleya, cymbidium, dendrobium, phalaenopsis, miltonia, vanda and more. Cameras are welcome. In addition this year’s show will have a display of orchids appearing on “Plates, Platters and Plaques.”

Got growing questions? Veteran members will staff a Question and Answer Booth where attendees can get expert advice on caring for orchids. The club boasts eight charter members who each have been growing orchids at least 30 years at different Kona elevations.

In addition to the other displays, the annual event offers an outdoor sale of high-quality orchid species and hybrids grown by club members and Big Isle commercial growers.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.kdoc.us, get club updates at www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise or phone 808-325-3261.

 

Hawaii State Judiciary Launches New Environmental Court

On July 1st, Hawaii will take the historic step of establishing the second statewide Environmental Court in the United States.  Hawaii’s new Environmental Court will have broad jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases affecting the environment.

JudiciaryAccording to Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, “The goal of the Environmental Court is to ensure the fair, consistent, and effective resolution of cases involving the environment.  We are excited to be part of this new initiative.”

In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the creation of environmental courts and tribunals around the world.  To date, 350 environmental courts of some kind are operating in 41 countries.  The Vermont State Legislature founded America’s first environmental court in 1990.  No other statewide environmental courts were formed in the United States until former Governor Neil Abercrombie signed into law Act 218, Session Laws of Hawaii 2014.

Pursuant to Act 218, Chief Justice Recktenwald appointed Associate Justice Michael D. Wilson to serve as Chair of the Environmental Court Working Group, an assembly of court personnel from across the state, to manage the implementation of the new specialty court.  The Working Group has been preparing for the July 1, 2015 launch, starting with a report to the 2015 Legislature describing plans to implement the Hawaii Environmental Court.  Since then, environmental court judges for the district and circuit courts have been assigned, Circuit Court Rules were amended, case management systems were updated, and adjustments were made to some court schedules to accommodate environmental court calendars.

“With the Environmental Court, Hawaii will be better positioned to safeguard one of the most treasured environments in the world,” said Justice Wilson.  “By organizing the technical and legal environmental issues under the Environmental Court, the State Legislature’s intention of promoting and protecting Hawaii’s natural environment will be realized through informed, efficient and consistent application of Hawaii’s environmental laws.”

Big Island Earthquake Upgraded to 5.2 Magnitude

The earthquake that happened yesterday evening has been upgraded to a 5.2 magnitude earthquake.

This follows a previous update of 5.0 and 4.9 as previously reported.
52 big island

Two Miles of Fencing at Big Island Natural Area Reserve Vandalized – Repair to Cost Taxpayers $100,000+

Nearly two miles of ungulate proof fencing, surrounding the Pu’u Maka’ ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR), built in the early part of this decade, was recently cut and destroyed by vandals.

Fence Repair

Ungulate fencing is intended to keep feral goats, pigs and other invasive animals away from native plants. This is not the first time fencing in two units within this Hawaii Island Natural (NAR) was vandalized.  Aroutine inspection of the fencing by NAR staff from the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) revealed that vandals had cut through multiple sections of fence at intervals of 5-10 meters top to bottom.

DLNRChairperson Suzanne Case said, “Whatever point these vandals think they’re making, they need to realize that they and every other taxpayer in Hawaii, ultimately ends up paying for the replacement of this fencing.   Additionally, significant staff time will bespent to repair the damage which could take several months and takes staff away from other scheduled projects and regular duties.”

The damagehas been reported to the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE).     A first degree criminal property damage casehas been filed. Anyone caught and convicted of vandalizing or destroying state property faces a class B felony with fines in the thousands of dollars as well as 5-10 years in jail.

NickAgorastos, a NAR Specialist on the Big Island estimates it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the damage.   He said, “This damage was done in one day and the cost estimate does not include the labor cost needed to remove ungulates that may have slipped through the damaged portions of fence.   It’sunfortunate that we all end up paying for someone else’s thoughtlessness and complete disregard for the purpose of ungulate fencing.”

Hundreds of milesof fencing around the state have been constructed for the express purpose of protecting watersheds and native plants; some of which are so rare there are only a few remaining. Pu’u Maka’ ala Natural Area Reserve is a high value, native forest, containing many sensitive natural resources.   It and many other state lands that are fencedcontinue to provide hunting and recreational access. Anyone with information on this crime is encouraged to call the DOCARE Hotline at 643-DLNR.

Watch “Protection of Hawaii’s Native Forests & Watersheds-A Discussion About Fencing & Invasive Species Control”

New Satellite Image Captures Puna Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 by the Landsat 8 satellite.

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Click to enlarge

Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The lava flow field is partly obscured by clouds, but the image shows much of the activity on the June 27th flow. Active breakouts are scattered over a wide area northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with the farthest active lava about 7.8 km (4.8 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

New Lava Flow Map Showing Flow Field Changes

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

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Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on May 21 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 4 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Navy Teams with State of Hawaii to Combat Mosquitoes

The Navy in Hawaii is partnering with the State of Hawaii’s Department of Health (HDOH) in surveillance and prevention of mosquito-borne diseases.
Mosquito Bite
During an interview on local TV June 11, entomologists Lt. Ryan Larson, of Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit (NEPMU) 6, and Dr. Jeomhee Hasty, of HDOH, showed specimens of mosquitoes and explained the importance of working together to prevent the spread of diseases.

The partnership with HDOH was strengthened when the Navy began to recognize the spread of mosquito-transmitted diseases throughout the Pacific last summer.

“Fences don’t stop mosquitos,” Larson told KHON2’s Wake Up 2day audience. “We realized we need to be prepared to respond in case this disease arrived in Hawaii.”

There have been cases of mosquito-borne diseases chikungunya and dengue fever in recent years, according to the HDOH.

“Travelers infected overseas can bring the disease back home where local mosquitos can ‘bite’…and start local transmission of the disease in Hawaii,” said Hasty.

Mosquito surveillance conducted by HDOH since 2010 at Honolulu International Airport supports Hasty’s concern. The mosquito species Aedes aegypti was detected near the airport several times since 2012. This group is more efficient at spreading dengue fever, said Hasty.

The HDOH Navy partnership allows combatting invasive species to move beyond the airport to cover more of the state.

Ryan demonstrated how two different traps are being used in the joint effort. A light trap sucks nocturnal mosquitos in after attracting them with visual cues and carbon dioxide, which mimics human respiration.

He also showed a sentinel trap, which is used for catching day-feeding mosquitos like the ones that carry dengue and chikungunya. Baited with a chemical lure that smells like “the worst pair of smelly socks you can imagine,” this device targets ankle-biting mosquitos, said Ryan.

As for residents of Hawaii, Hasty says using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants can help prevent exposure to harmful mosquito bites. She also recommends eliminating standing water on and around one’s property, which reduces mosquito reproduction.

EPA Honors Hawaii Volcanoes National Park as Federal Green Challenge Winner

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with the EPA’s Federal Green Challenge Regional Overall Achievement award as part of its efforts to encourage federal departments to reduce their environmental footprints through sustainable practices.

A park ranger recycles cardboard

A park ranger recycles cardboard

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, located on Hawai‘i Island is one of the most biologically diverse landscapes in the world. Located nearly 2,500 miles from the nearest continental land mass, the park stretches from the summit of Mauna Loa at 13,677 feet down to sea level. It encompasses two of the world’s most active volcanoes, and attracts more than 1.6 million visitors a year.

“We applaud National Park Service staff for leading the way towards zero waste, and educating the millions of visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This unique landscape deserves protection, and that starts with the commitment by the federal employees who work there.”

“We are extremely honored to receive this level of recognition for our climate-friendly efforts,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Our staff is dedicated to implementing environmentally responsible practices, and we encourage our visitors and park partners to do the same,” she said.

The park had top regional achievements in the Federal Green Challenge Waste and Purchasing target areas, increasing recycling by 167 percent to achieve an overall recycling rate of 76 percent, while decreasing copy paper purchases by 89 percent. In addition, 95 percent of its cleaning products met Environmental Preferable Purchasing criteria.

Not only does Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park walk their talk behind the scenes, but park employees reach out to the community and visitors throughout the year through programs, exhibits and presentations on the values and importance of being climate friendly and sustainable.

The park actively works to reduce their environmental footprint in all six Federal Green Challenge target areas: energy, water, waste, electronics, purchasing and transportation.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to Hawaii’s largest public rainwater catchment system that stores 5.3 million gallons of water. The water is treated, filtered with cartridge and sand filters, and disinfected to supply water to 56 areas throughout the park. Water bottle refilling stations, posters, and sale of refillable stainless steel water bottles educate the public to “Step Away from the Plastic.”

In addition, the park’s Visitor Emergency Operations Center, which opened in 2011, earned a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council – and is currently the only federal building in Hawai‘i to receive LEED Platinum certification. The 4,896-square-foot building is powered by photovoltaic panels and is constructed from mostly recycled or reused materials.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has made more great strides in conserving energy. Park rangers ride electrically powered “Eco Bikes” to their programs along the Kīlauea summit, saving fossil fuels and parking spaces. The Kīlauea Visitor Center features special yellow LED lighting to conserve energy and keep night skies dark. Solar panels generate renewable energy, and electric and alternative fuel vehicles further reduce energy and transportation-related emissions.

The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort challenging federal agencies to lead by example in reducing the Federal Government’s environmental impacts. In 2014, more than 400 participating facilities, representing nearly 1.3 million federal employees, “walked the talk” in various target areas and reduced their environmental footprint, which in many cases also resulted in significant cost savings. In EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region, $3,486,990 was saved through reductions in energy, purchasing, transportation and waste.

Community Talk About the Future of Electricity in Hawaii

 

NextEra Logo

What will NextEra’s $43 billion purchase of Hawaii’s multi‐island private electric utility, Hawaii Electric Inc., mean to the state’s clean energy future and to the utility’s customers of Hawai’i County?

  • Electricity prices in Hawai’i are currently the highest in the country, at nearly three times the national average. What are the benefits that NextEra’s acquisition brings to Hawai’i?
  • Hawai’i boasts one of the fastest adoption rates of rooftop solar in the nation. With so many home grown Hawai’i solar jobs at stake, will Hawaii’s new power provider and utility follow a similar pattern of utilities in other states who are actively engaged in a war on solar (seen as competitive to their business interests) and stymie its popular adoption?
  • Can NextEra meet the state’s newly adopted 100% goal for renewable energy by 2045?
  • Is the current 20th century utility revenue model still relevant to Hawaii’s solar economy?
  • Can Consumers become their own utility and successfully disconnect from the grid?
  • Is Hawaii ready to adopt NextEra’s plans to upgrade its newly acquired Hawai’i power plants (fueled by the dirtiest of fossil fuels: coal and oil) with another imported fossil fuel (natural gas), and all in exchange for the promise of cheaper electricity rates?
  • How will the power of size, money, and political influence by Florida‐based NextEra transform Hawaii’s energy future?
  • Will Hawaii’s PUC protect the public interest?

These and many other questions important to customers of HEI (HELCO) will be discussed by a panel of experts, each with a different outlook on Hawaii’s electricity dependent future.

Join us Thursday, June 18th, at 6:00 pm at the County Council Chambers, West Hawai’i Civic Center to learn more from the event’s featured speakers:

  • Jay Ignacio, HELCO, President
  • Henry Curtis, Ililani Media
  • Richard Ha, HEIC, President

Doors will open at 5:30 pm, pupus and beverages will be served prior to the program. The program is free and open to the public.

 

HVO Releases New Photo of Halemaumau Crater

One month ago the summit lava lake was at the rim of the Overlook crater (the small crater in the center of the photo), spilling lava onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater (the larger crater that fills much of the photo), creating the dark flows surrounding the Overlook crater.

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Click to enlarge

Since that time the lava lake has dropped, associated with summit deflation, and today the lake level was about 60 meters (200 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. The stack of recent overflows is visible on the wall of the Overlook crater as the layer of dark lava atop the older, light colored lava forming the majority of the Overlook crater wall.

The photo is taken from the southeast rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The closed Halemaʻumaʻu overlook is in the upper left corner of the photo. Jaggar Museum and HVO can be seen as a small bump on the horizon in the upper right portion of the photograph.

Explore Kilauea Iki With a Vulcanologist

On June 14, the non-profit Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (FHVNP) presents a “Sunday Walk in the Park” from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  This monthly program, offered on second Sundays, is aimed at bringing together the members of FHVNP to share in the park’s beautiful trails.

The public is invited to join the non-profit Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park for a  “Sunday Walk in the Park” on June 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. along the Kilauea Iki Trail.  The walk is free for Friends members, and non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to attend.  Annual memberships are $30 for individuals and $45 for families, and come with a variety of benefits.  Visit www.fhvnp.org for more info.   Photo: FHVNP/Elizabeth Fien

The public is invited to join the non-profit Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park for a “Sunday Walk in the Park” on June 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. along the Kilauea Iki Trail. The walk is free for Friends members, and non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to attend. Annual memberships are $30 for individuals and $45 for families, and come with a variety of benefits. Visit www.fhvnp.org for more info.
Photo: FHVNP/Elizabeth Fien

Led by Cheryl Gansecki, this month’s four-mile hike will explore Kilauea Iki Crater.  Participants should bring a bag lunch for a rest stop along the walk.

Kilauea Iki Trail begins on the crater’s forested rim.  The trail descends 400 feet through the rain forest, with native birds flitting through the canopy, onto the crater floor.  Hikers cross the still-steaming crater, past the gaping throat of the vent that built Pu‘u Pua‘i cinder cone, and ascend the far rim.  Of interest on the hike are forest plants, birds, insects, the 1959 lava lake, steam vents, and cinder and spatter cones.

This hike, rated moderately difficult, traverses pahoehoe lava and forested trails.  Participants should be prepared for the 4,000’ elevation as well as for variable weather conditions, including sunny, windy, chilly, and/or rainy.

FHVNP’s “Sunday Walk in the Park” is free for Friends members, and non-members are welcome to join the Friends in order to attend.  Annual memberships are $30 for individuals and $45 for families, and come with a variety of benefits.

To register, contact FHVNP at 985-7373 or admin@fhvnp.org.  For more information, visit www.fhvnp.org.  Park entrance fees apply.

Governor Signs Bill Setting 100% Renewable Energy Goal

The Hawaiian Electric Companies today joined others across Hawaii in applauding Gov. David Ige and the Hawaii Legislature for setting the most aggressive clean energy goal in the country – 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

 Governor Ige signs bill setting 100 percent renewable energy goal in power sector

Governor Ige signs bill setting 100 percent renewable energy goal in power sector

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company fully support the goal of having 100 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources while ensuring that it’s achieved at a reasonable cost for electric customers and that safe, reliable electric service is maintained.

“Reducing our dependence on imported oil and increasing our use of renewable energy is critical to our state’s future. It’s the clean energy transformation we all want for Hawaii. Reaching this goal will require a diverse portfolio of renewable energy resources and strong, upgraded electric grids, and that’s exactly what we’re working toward,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO.

The proposed merger involving Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy would provide additional resources to help make these ambitious goals a reality. NextEra Energy has developed, built and operates one of the nation’s most modern grid networks and is the world’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun.

“Reaching these goals will be a challenge that our entire state must work together to meet. And we’ll do that with strong collaboration among all stakeholders and our collective commitment to building a better energy future for Hawaii,” Oshima said.

Hawaii Governor’s office released the following:

Gov. David Ige today signed into law four energy bills, including one that strengthens Hawaii’s commitment to clean energy by directing the state’s utilities to generate 100 percent of their electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2045.

The bold step taken by the Hawai‘i State Legislature in passing the landmark legislation (HB623) fulfills one of Ige’s policy objectives by making Hawai‘i the first state in the nation to set a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for the electricity sector.

“As the most oil dependent state in the nation, Hawai‘i spends roughly $5 billion a year on foreign oil to meet its energy needs. Making the transition to renewable, indigenous resources for power generation will allow us to keep more of that money at home, thereby improving our economy, environment and energy security,” Ige said. “I’d like to thank the senate and house energy committee chairs for championing HB623 and ensuring that Hawai‘i remains a national leader in clean energy.”

“Setting a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard will help drive investment in Hawai‘i’s growing clean energy sector,” said Luis Salaveria, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. “Our commitment to clean energy has already attracted entrepreneurs and businesses from around the world, looking to develop, test and prove emerging technologies and strategies right here in Hawai‘i.”

“Raising the bar for renewable energy in Hawai‘i will also push the state to stay out in front on innovation,” said Mark Glick, administrator, State Energy Office. “We are finding ways to be innovative both with technical solutions and financing structures that will help us meet our ambitious renewable energy goals.”

“Renewable energy projects are already producing cheaper power than new fossil fuel projects in Hawai‘i, and it’s only going to get cheaper as renewable technology advances, unlike fossil fuels which will only grow more expensive as they become more difficult to extract from a shrinking supply,” added Rep. Chris Lee, Chair of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee. “The faster we move toward renewable energy the faster we can stop exporting billions from our local economy to import expensive fossil fuels.”

Another measure signed by Ige (SB1050) will help democratize renewable energy by creating a structure that will allow renters, condominium owners and others who have been largely shut out of Hawai‘i’s clean energy transformation, to purchase electricity generated at an off-site renewable energy facility, such as a large-scale solar farm.

The bill establishing a community-based renewable energy program will be particularly valuable on O‘ahu where there is a high concentration of high-rise condominiums that lack sufficient roof space to support on-site solar panels.  The law is also expected to provide relief to homeowners and businesses who are located on highly saturated circuits that cannot accommodate additional PV installations.

“As of March 2015, there are about 56,000 PV/Solar systems on rooftops.  These folks are saving tremendously on their electricity bills. That’s great, but what about the 44 percent of Hawai‘i residents who don’t own their homes? And those without roof space? SB 1050 allows people to form a hui, find a piece of land, and purchase or lease however many PV panels they want and then get a credit on their electricity bill for the energy they produce.  We spend $3-5 billion annually buying fossil fuels; this is an awesome concept that will help keep some of that money here to help our economy,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard, who co-authored the bill while serving as chair of the Energy and Environment Committee.

In addition to the 100 percent RPS and community-based renewable energy bills, Ige signed into law a measure that sets a net-zero energy goal for the University of Hawai‘i  System (HB1509) and another that designates a state hydrogen implementation coordinator (HB1296).

New Maps Show Lava Flow in Relation to Places

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna.

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Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on May 21 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 4 is shown in red.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the active lava tube

Hawaii Climate Change Adaptation Committee Begins Work

Hawaii Climate Adaptation

ICAC Video News Release 6-5-15 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

The Hawaii State Legislature identified climate change as one of the most urgent and long-term threats to the State’s economy, sustainability, security and way of life over the next century.  In 2014 it passed Act 83 in order to address the effects of climate change.  Act 83 also established the Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee (ICAC), with representatives from more than a dozen state and county agencies. The ICAC is tasked with developing a statewide Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Report (SLR Report) to the legislature by the end of 2017. The committee held its first meeting this week on June 3.

Rep. Chris Lee, chair of the Hawaii House of Representatives Energy & Environment Committee was one of the lawmakers instrumental in the passage of Act 83.  He said, “Hawaii, as the only island state in the U.S., is among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, yet we were one of the few coastal states that had not adopted a statewide climate adaptation plan.  Act 83 and the ICAC changes this.”

The DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) will lead the development of the SLR Report in coordination with the ICAC.  Sam Lemmo, OCCL Administrator said, “ The SLR Report will serve as the framework to address other climate-related threats and climate change adaptation priorities, ultimately leading to a Climate Adaptation Plan for the State, which will be prepared by the State Office of Planning. Over the next two and a half years we will meet regularly, engage climate change experts, and keep the citizens of Hawaii informed of our progress and recommendations to combat the negative impacts of sea level rise and other climate change threats.”

One of the experts being engaged is Dr. Chip Fletcher of the University of Hawaii’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). Dr. Fletcher is a climate change scientist, who works on predictive models which visually depict the impacts of sea level rise along Hawaii coastlines.  He presented his latest findings at the first meeting of the ICAC.  Dr. Fletcher explained, “Rising sea levels, exacerbated by stronger storms, will increase coastal flooding and erosion.  It will damage coastal ecosystems and infrastructure and affect tourism, agriculture, military bases and other industries. This is on top of the impacts of higher sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification.”

DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case co-chairs the ICAC with the director of the State Office of Planning.  She commented, “The work of the ICAC is among the highest priority work we will do over the next few years.  Beach erosion, drought, coral bleaching and rising ocean temperatures are already having measurable impacts on Hawaii and are expected to accelerate in coming years.  These threats include impacts to our host culture, including impacts to coastal artifacts and structures and reduced availability of traditional food sources and subsistence fisheries.”

Puna Lava Flow Still Active

Scattered breakouts remain active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

On yesterday’s overflight, breakouts were active as far as 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Some of this activity was at the forest boundary, burning vegetation. This narrow lobe, one of several active on the flow field today, traveled over earlier Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava (light brown) to reach the forest boundary.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains relatively steady. This photograph looks towards the southwest, and shows outgassing from numerous areas in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. On the far side of the crater, the small circular pit (right of center) had a small lava pond that was too deep to see from this angle.

As shown in the May 21 field photos, the small forested cone of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been slowly buried by flows over the past several months.

hvo154All that remains today are narrow portions of the rim standing above the lava.

Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Recent lava on the June 27th flow cascaded over the overhanging rim of this collapse pit on an earlier portion of the flow field.

Summit activity continues in Halemaʻumaʻu

A wide view of the northern portion of Kīlauea Caldera, on an exceptionally clear day.

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Click to enlarge

HVO and Jaggar Museum can be seen as the light-colored spot on the caldera rim. Mauna Loa is in the distance.

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Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, looking west. Click to enlarge

The dark area on the crater floor consists of recent overflows from the Overlook crater. The Overlook crater is near the left edge of the photo, and a portion of the active lava lake surface can be seen below the rim.

 

Temporary Closures on Mauna Kea for Animal Control Activities

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will conduct animal control activities specifically for trapping mouflon/feral sheep hybrids; staff hunting, and/or aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats, feral sheep, mouflon and mouflon/feral sheep hybrids within palila critical habitat in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve (Unit A), Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve (Unit K), and the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area (Unit G) on the island of Hawai‘i.

Mauna Kea Via UH

Aerial shooting is required for compliance with the federal court order mandating the removal of sheep and goats from critical habitat for palila, a bird endemic to Hawai‘i.

Control schedules are June 24 and 25, July 28 and 29, and August 26 and 27, 2015

Public access to Mauna Kea Forest Reserve from Waikahalulu gulch, north to Kemole, and east to Pu‘u Kole, Mauna Kea Ice Age Natural Area Reserve, the Ka‘ohe Game Management Area and Mauna Kea Hunter Access Road will be restricted and allowed BY PERMIT ONLY for animal salvage purposes on the following dates:

7 a.m. June 24 and 25, July 28 and August 26 and 27, 2015

These actions are pursuant to HAR§ 13-130-19 and § 13-104-23(a) (3). The Mauna Kea Observatory Road will remain open. The temporary closure is needed to minimize the dangers of incompatible uses in the forest area and safely conduct animal control activities. To implement the closure, the Hale Pohaku and Kilohana gated entrances to Unit A and G and the gate behind Mauna Kea Recreation Area will be locked/reopened as follows:

  • Locked 8 p.m. June 23, 2015, and reopened 7 p.m. June 25, 2015
  • Locked 8 p.m. July 27, 2015, and reopened 7 p.m. July 29, 2015
  • Locked 8 p.m. August 25, 2015 and reopened 7 p.m. August 27, 2015

Copies of the map illustrating the area subject to aerial shooting on these dates are available for inspection at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Office.

Due to high public participation, telephone call-ins to the DOFAW Kamuela Office at (808) 887-6063 for receiving salvage permits will be conducted from 9 a.m. June 17, 2015, to 10 a.m. the day before each shoot day. One permit will be issued per call per vehicle for one day only. Applicants can have their names added to a stand-by list for additional days, should all slots not be filled by other applicants. No standbys waiting at the gates will be allowed access. The driver, occupants, vehicle license plate, and make/model of vehicle are needed when calling in. A maximum of 15 permitted vehicles will be allowed at the Pu‘u Ko‘ohi location.

Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available to the permitted public for salvage at the following location (4-wheel drive vehicles are required, and access permits will be issued). There is no guarantee that animals will be able to be salvaged.

Salvage locations are subject to change:

  • On June 24 and 25, and July 28 and 29, and August 26 and 27, 2015, at Pu‘u Ko‘ohi. Permittees must meet at Mauna Kea Recreation Area at 7 a.m. sharp.

Contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in Hilo at (808) 974-4221 or in Kamuela at (808) 887-6063 for additional details regarding meat salvage or access permits.

 

New Lava Flow Map Released Shows Continued Activity

Hawaii Volcano Observatory recently updated their map of the June 27th (2014) lava flow as recently as May 21st, 2015, however, it appears they failed to upload it to their website until today May 29th, 2015.

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on April 23 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of May 21 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Fish Kills Kona Fisherman

A 47-year-old fisherman died Friday (May 29) in Kailua-Kona during a fishing accident.

Randy Llanes was the captain of

Randy Llanes was a captain at Sundowner Sportfishing

Responding to a 10:48 a.m.call, police learned that a swordfish had been observed in Honokōhau Harbor and that fisherman Randy Llanes of Kailua-Kona had jumped into the water with a spear gun. The fish was then seen thrashing about, leaving a puncture wound to the man’s upper chest.

A picture from Llanes Facebook page

A picture from Llanes Facebook page

Hawaiʻi County Fire Department personnel responded to the scene and attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. They took Llanes to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 a.m.

Volcanoes National Park to Increase Entrance and Camping Fees

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will incrementally increase entrance and camping fees over the next three years in order to fund deferred maintenance and improvement projects within the park, and to meet national standards for parks with similar visitor amenities. Entrance fees for recreational use have not increased since 1997.

Kilauea Iki with Rainbow.  Photo Carol Johnson

Kilauea Iki with Rainbow. Photo Carol Johnson

Beginning June 1, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will increase its per-vehicle entrance fee in $5 increments from the current price of $10 per vehicle to $15 per-vehicle this year, $20 in 2016, and $25 in 2017. The vehicle pass is valid for seven days. The per-person entrance fee (the rate bicyclists and pedestrians pay) will increase from the current rate of $5 to $8 on June 1, $10 in 2016, and to $12 in 2017. The motorcycle fee will go up from $5 to $10 on June 1, $15 in 2016, and to $20 in 2017.

One significant modification to the new fee structure was based on public input. The annual Tri-Park Pass, considered by many as the kama‘āina, or residents pass, will remain at the current rate of $25 for 2015 and 2016, and will increase to $30 in 2017. Based on public input, the park proposed a $30 fee for the Tri-Park Pass, instead of the national standard of $50. The annual Tri-Park Pass is available to all visitors and allows unlimited entry for one year to three national parks: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Haleakalā National Park.

New fees are also slated for all backcountry and front-country campsites, including Kulanaokuaiki Campground, and will be $10 per site per night. Backcountry campsites will have a stay limit of three consecutive nights, while the front-country campsites will have a stay limit of seven consecutive nights. Currently, camping is free, except at Nāmakanipaio Campground, which is managed by Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC. The new camping permit fees are similar to other public camping fees statewide.

In addition, entrance fees will increase for commercial tour companies. Currently, road-based tour vans carrying one to six passengers pay a $25 base fee and $5 per person to enter the park. The commercial per-person entrance rates will increase to $8 in 2015; $10 in 2016; and $12 in 2017 and will remain at $12 through 2021. The base fee will not change. Non-road-based tour companies, i.e. hiking tour companies that are on trails more than they are touring the park by vehicle, don’t pay a base rate but their per-person entrance fees would increase under the proposed schedule.

“The increases over the next few years will enable us to continue to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors, while upgrading some basic services like our campgrounds,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We reached out to our community for their feedback on the new fees, and many comments were supportive of the increase as long as the Tri-Park Pass continued to be offered,” she said.

Recreational entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years old, or holders of the Tri-Park, America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access, or Military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park, or online.

The current National Park Service (NPS) fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80 percent of monies collected. Projects funded by entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park include ongoing trail maintenance, cabin repairs, hike pamphlets, restrooms, picnic tables, and more. The transformation of the 1932 Administration Building (‘Ōhi‘a Wing) into a cultural museum that visitors will soon enjoy is also a fee-funded project. Entrance fees also protect the Hawaiian ecosystem by funding fencing projects that prevent non-native ungulates like pigs and goats from devouring rare native plants.

An NPS report shows that 1,693,005 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2014 spent $136,838,700 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,672 jobs on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $170,878,000.