Kīpukapuaulu, Nāmakanipaio, and Mauna Loa Now Open

The popular forested trail at Kīpukapuaulu (known locally as “Bird Park”), Nāmakanipaio campground, and Mauna Loa summit and backcountry within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are now open.

Park rangers report that the Mauna Loa Cabin and other areas in the Mauna Loa backcountry within Hawai‘i Voclanoes National Park sustained little or no damage as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle. NPS Photo/Talmadge Magno

Park rangers report that the Mauna Loa Cabin and other areas in the Mauna Loa backcountry within Hawai‘i Voclanoes National Park sustained little or no damage as a result of Tropical Storm Iselle. NPS Photo/Talmadge Magno

Mauna Loa Road is open to hikers and pedestrians, but is currently closed to vehicles.  Visitors who want to access Mauna Loa trail, the summit, and Pu‘u‘ula‘ula (Red Hill) or Mauna Loa cabins, must obtain a backcountry permit at the Visitor Emergency Operations Center. A gate code for Mauna Loa Road will be provided with the permit. Call 808-985-6178 for information.

“We’re delighted to report that most of the places visitors typically visit within the national park are now open,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Our park crews mobilized quickly, safely, and efficiently to reopen as much of the park as possible following Hurricane Iselle,” she said.

All coastal trails and coastal backcountry campsites are open within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Nāpau and Kūlanaokuaiki campsites and Pepeiao Cabin are also open. Power has been restored, and most phones are working throughout the park. Kīlauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum have returned to normal operating hours.

Hurricane Iselle, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, snapped trail signs off posts in some areas, and damaged park resources, including a historic home at ‘Āinahou, and a greenhouse used to propagate endangered plants. Potential damage to fencing in remote areas and the coastal nesting sites of the endangered hawksbill turtle are still being assessed.

Tourism to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Creates $124, 937,400 in Economic Benefit

Report shows visitor spending supports 1,476 jobs in local economy

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2013 shows that the 1,583,209 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spent $124,937,400 in communities near the park. This spending supported 1,476 jobs in the local area.

The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano from Halema‘uma‘u Crater continues to attract visitors to the park.  NPS Photo by

The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano from Halema‘uma‘u Crater continues to attract visitors to the park. NPS Photo by Stephen Geiger

“We are pleased to again report a steady annual increase of visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “The ease of viewing the summit eruption from Kīlauea, the many free cultural and scientific programs, the re-opening of Volcano House, and the diverse ecosystem of native plants and animals that park stewards have worked hard to protect for nearly 100 years are part of what attracts people, and can be attributed to the increase,” she said.

Visitors from across the country, around the world, and from local communities statewide and island-wide, visit Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

“National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well.  We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities and businesses,” Orlando said.

The 2013 report reflects a consistent trend of increasing visitation to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park over the last five years, as well as higher spending by visitors in local communities. In 2013, visitation increased 6.7 percent over 2012 (1,483,928 visitors), and spending increased by 10.2 percent ($113,376,400). The 2012 visitation to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was 9.7 percent higher than 2011 (1,352,123 visitors), and 2012 spending was up 17 percent from 2011.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the NPS.

The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Hawai‘i, and how the NPS works with Hawai‘i communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/hawaii.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Offers Free Hawaiian Music Songwriting Retreat

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is offering a two-day Hawaiian music songwriting retreat for beginners on Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17. Hawaiian music, language and haku mele (Hawaiian song) experts Kenneth Makuakāne and Kaliko Trapp-Beamer will lead the workshops.

Kenneth Makuakane teaching ukulele.

Kenneth Makuakane teaching ukulele.

Both workshops run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be held at the park’s Education Center. Advance registration is required. To register, call (808) 985-6166. Leave your name, email address, and best contact number no later than August 8. Space is limited. The park will contact you by email to confirm your reservation.

The retreat will be held in the park at the summit of Kīlauea. Budding songwriters will find inspiration in this wahi kapu (sacred place), among the towering koa and ‘ōhi‘a lehua trees, over fields of ropy pāhoehoe lava, and in the awe-inspiring eruptive glow from Halema‘uma‘u Crater.

Also inspirational are the retreat’s accomplished teachers. Kenneth Makuakāne is a multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner, along with his group, The Pandanus Club. He’s a prolific songwriter (1,500-plus songs), producer of more than 100 albums, and collaborator who has worked with virtually all of the stars of Hawaiian music over the years.

Kaliko

Kaliko Trapp-Beamer

Kaliko was raised as the hānai son of Hawaiian cultural expert Aunty Nona Beamer (1923-2008), learning Hawaiian chant, storytelling, traditional protocol, family songs, and stories. He currently teaches Hawaiian language courses at the University of Hawai‘i in Hilo, and helps coordinate the Beamer Family Aloha Music Camp. He is the President of the Mohala Hou Foundation dedicated to “preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture through education and the arts.”

The two-day Hawaiian songwriting retreat is sponsored by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Park entrance fees apply.

Hauanio and Minami-Judd Retire from Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Two long-term employees of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park recently announced their retirement after many years of service:

Clarence “Aku” Hauanio retired May 30, 2014 after 29 years of service to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

NPS Photo of Aku Hauanio

NPS Photo of Aku Hauanio

Aku worked for the Natural Resources Management division as a pest control worker, and was devoted to protecting the endangered species within the park, including the nēnē (endemic Hawaiian goose), and the ‘u‘au (Hawaiian petrel).

Residents of Kalapana, Aku and his ‘ohana (family) created a legacy at the park by serving the NPS for four generations. His grandfather, John Pa‘i Hauanio, Sr., worked here, as did Aku’s father, John Pa‘i Hauanio Jr., who built the rock wall and park sign that welcome visitors entering from the south. The much-photographed grove of coconut palms trees on the makai (ocean) side of the end of Chain of Craters Road was planted by John Jr., and marks the ancient Hawaiian village of Panau. Aku’s sons, Kainoa and Ikua, have both worked and volunteered at the park.

Aku’s influence on the park community is extraordinary. He worked in several program areas, including Protection, Maintenance, and Natural Resources Management. He worked on backcountry trails, built miles and miles of fence, and removed invasive, non-native weeds to protect native plant and animal communities in the park. According to his field supervisor, Nēnē Recovery Project Manager Kathleen Misajon, Aku’s hard work and dedication to the program over the past 10 years has greatly contributed to an increase in the park’s population from 152 to 250 wild birds.

“Aku contributed his skills to many aspects of our program, from fencing projects and feral animal control to monitoring nests and helping band the endangered geese,” Misajon said.

Aku is also a canoe builder, and inspired a community of outrigger canoe paddlers, dedicating countless hours to coaching teams that paddled together competitively, and for fun. An avid fisherman who uses traditional Hawaiian as well as modern techniques, Aku is looking forward to spending more time on the ocean during his retirement. He will continue to live in and care for Kalapana with family.

Gail Minami-Judd retired from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on May 31, 2014, following 31 years of dedication to the National Park Service (NPS). She served as the Supervisory Park Ranger and Kīlauea District Ranger for the Protection Division since 1990.

NPS Photo of Gail Minami-Judd by David Boyle.

NPS Photo of Gail Minami-Judd by David Boyle.

Gail began her career at the USS Arizona Memorial on O‘ahu in 1983, graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in 1986, then transferred to Hawai‘i Volcanoes in 1987 as a Visitor and Resource Protection Ranger. Her supervisor, Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno, describes her career as “exemplary.”

“We recognize and applaud Gail for her dedication to the mission of the NPS in protecting the natural and cultural features of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and providing the leadership to maintain the safety of staff and visitors in this dynamic environment,” Magno said.

Gail’s support for the Pacific Island Network, Pacific West Region, and national programs are also noted, and she achieved numerous accolades and certifications, including achieving and maintaining a Level 1 law enforcement commission for 28 years; obtaining the level of short-haul spotter in aviation; emergency medical technician; park scuba diver; and wildland firefighter and structural firefighter.

“Gail’s service as Operations Chief and Incident Commander as well as Acting Chief Ranger during numerous periods and serious incidents and natural disasters were key to the success of each operation and a testament to her high level of expertise and dedication,” Magno said.

Some of these noted operations included:

  • The Department of the Interior (DOI) Special Commendation for HAVO Drug Law Enforcement Program, 1989
  • DOI Excellence of Service for Park Ranger Rescue Team, 1990
  • Excellence of Service Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Rescue, 1993
  • Excellence of Service Emergency Response Big Island Air Crash, 1999

Gail also earned the Julie Cross Women in Law Enforcement Memorial in 1988. More recently, Gail’s leadership with eruption operations led to the Andrew Clark Hecht Memorial Public Safety Achievement Award in 2009 for the mitigation of hazards and high levels of SO2 associated with the current eruptions.

Gail will remain in Volcano with her husband, former park criminal investigator Jeff Judd, and their three children.

 

June 2014 Hawaiian Cultural and After Dark in the Park Programs

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in June. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Kapo‘eno‘ono‘o: Early Native Hawaiian Scholars. We rely on the works of Davida Malo, John Papa ‘I‘i, Samuela Kamakau, Kepelino, and S.N. Hale‘ole for insight on the history, cultural practices, literature and genealogies of pre-contact Hawai‘i. Former park archivist Helen Wong Smith specializes in Hawaiian archival material, and serves on the Council of the Society of American Archivists as the first archivist from Hawai‘i since 1968, explains how these men straddled two cultures, how their efforts provide us with unadulterated knowledge of wā kaiko (ancient times), and how can we access their publications in the digital era. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.

When: Tues., June 10, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kumu Hula Mamo Brown at the park's 2013 Hawaiian Cultural Festival. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Kumu Hula Mamo Brown at the park’s 2013 Hawaiian Cultural Festival. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

“Backyard” Lei-Making Demonstration. Join kumu hula Mamo Brown as she demonstrates three different lei styles: wili, hipu‘u, and hilo, using backyard foliage. If you want to see what you can make from your backyard, pick and bring some with you to this demonstration!  Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

When: Wed., June 11, from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Hula Performance. Enjoy an evening of hula with Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū, under the direction of kumu hula Mamo Brown. A lifelong resident of Hilo, Mamo was formally trained by Nalani Kanaka‘ole and Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele of Hālau o Kekuhi in the ‘ai ha‘a, or low bombastic, style of hula. After her uniki (graduation), Mamo started her own hālau and is carrying on this traditional form of hula. Part of the park’s ongoing “Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” performances. Free.

When: Wed., June 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Carl Ray Villaverde in Concert. Multi-talented musician and Hilo native Carl Ray Villaverde has returned to Hawai‘i Island! Welcome Carl home, and listen to him perform in this rare concert opportunity. After spending more than a decade on the mainland teaching ‘ukulele and guitar at Santa Barbara City College and performing throughout California, Carl returns to the islands with his new CD, Hawaiian Magic, on sale at the show. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.

When: Tues., June 24 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hawaiian ‘Ukulele Demonstration. Join Oral Abihai as he shares his passion for making ‘ukulele from discarded or naturally fallen pieces of wood. Learning only several years ago in Lahaina from Kenny Potts, he has since made more than 50 ‘ukulele. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

When: Wed., June 25 from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

 

Hawaii Volcano Update – Lava Continues to Advance Through Remote Forest

Lava overflows Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active

Lava flows from two different vents in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater have spilled out of the crater and down the flanks of the cone over the past week. This photo shows the new flow, easy to identify with its light gray color, originating from the south spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater (the spatter cone is visible as a bump on the crater floor). This flow was still active this morning and had traveled a short distance southeast. Another flow, originating from the north spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, is not visible in this photograph.
The north spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater fed a new flow, starting Tuesday evening, that covered much of the northern part of the crater floor and spilled over the crater rim towards the north. The right side of the north spatter cone has been present for many months, but the left side, which was spattering this morning, is new as of this week.
The lava flow from the north spatter cone ran over old cinder deposits from the early fountaining phases of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980s. Cinders sticking to the front of the pāhoehoe lava were lifted up as the front of the pāhoehoe toes inflated.
The northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remained active, but the lava pond (featured in many recent photographs posted here) has crusted over, leaving only a small circular opening venting gas.
A closer look at the small opening at the top of the northeast spatter cone in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. Although the lava pond is crusted over, fluid lava is likely present just a short distance below the opening. Delicate lava stalactites have formed just inside the rim.
The lava flow from the north spatter cone, in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, began on Tuesday night and came close to the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, where our webcams are situated. Because of this proximity, several of the webcams and other pieces of equipment were moved to higher ground on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
Despite the recent changes in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater over the past week, the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava flow remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and continues to advance slowly through remote forest. The active flow front today was 8.3 km (5.2 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible near the top of the photograph.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Launches New Artist-in-Residence Program

In conjunction with the National Parks Arts Foundation, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will launch its first Artist-in-Residence program in May. The debut artist will be Master of Hawaiian featherwork, Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas.

Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas and Uncle George Na‘ope

Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas and Uncle George Na‘ope

The artist, whose bold and beautiful feather work is currently on display at the Volcano House, will provide an After Dark in the Park exhibit and discussion about his artwork on Tues., May 6 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Admission is free, but park entrance fees apply.

The Artist-in-Residence program continues the legacy of the famous volcano-inspired artists, and provides a creative setting in the park, said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

San Nicolas grew up in Hawai‘i, and is founder of the George Na‘ope Hula Festival. He was recently bestowed with the title of Ke Kumu Hulu Nui, “Master of Hawaiian Featherwork of Old Hawai‘i” by another celebrated cultural icon, kumu hula Kaha‘i Topolinski. Aunty Doreen Henderson, Hawai‘i’s famous kumu of lei hulu, has also honored San Nicolas with the title of Master Featherworker.

Courtesy photos provided by Rick San Nicolas, showing his Lei Hulu Niho Mano, or feathered lei with shark's teeth

Courtesy photos provided by Rick San Nicolas, showing his Lei Hulu Niho Mano, or feathered lei with shark’s teeth

“We are thrilled to offer Rick the mutually beneficial opportunity to cultivate his creativity in the remarkable setting of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “The arts are an integral way to perpetuate Hawaiian culture and its deep connection to this sacred landscape,” she said.

The non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation developed the Artist-in-Residence program as a way for artists to be inspired and appreciate the fascinating past – and present – of our national parks, while giving back to the National Park Service. The NPAF programs are proposed for 15 locations in national parks and World Heritage Sites in the U.S. For information, visit the NPAF website: http//www.nationalparkartsfoundation.org.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Announces Flight Plans

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park announces the following upcoming flight plans:

  • April 28, May 12, and May 26, between 8 a.m. and noon, to transport fencing material from the summit of Kīlauea to an area near the top of Mauna Loa Road.
  • April 29, morning flight to Kahuku for wildlife management.
  • May 16: flying camp supplies and equipment from end of Chain of Craters Road to ‘Āpua Point, Keauhou, and Halapē campsites for annual monitoring of hawksbill turtle nesting season.

HVNP

The park regrets any noise impact to residents and park visitors. Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather.

Management of the park requires the use of aircraft to monitor and research volcanic activity, conduct search-and-rescue missions and law enforcement operations, support management of natural and cultural resources, and to maintain backcountry facilities.

After Dark in the Park – May Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in May. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

NEW! Artist-in-Residence Program. In conjunction with the non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will launch its first Artist-in-Residence program, continuing the legacy of the famous volcano-inspired artists. The debut artist will be Master of Hawaiian featherwork, Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas. Rick will provide a public exhibit and lecture about his artwork, his inspiration from Hawai‘i’s sacred volcanoes, and the history and culture of Hawai‘i. His work is currently on exhibit at the Volcano House, and will soon be in Honolulu at the Bishop Museum. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 6, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

The 1924

The 1924 eruption of Kilauea. NPS Photo

The 1924 Explosive Eruption of Kīlauea. The May 1924 eruption from Halema‘uma‘u Crater caused community turmoil and one death. Yet of all the known explosive eruptions of Kīlauea before 1924, it was the smallest—the runt of the litter. This small eruption and its magnified impact illustrate the interplay between hazard (what the volcano provides) and risk (the impact of the hazard on us).  On the 90th anniversary of the eruption, HVO geologist Don Swanson and volunteer Ben Gaddis address what happened in 1924, what caused the explosive eruption, and how it stacks up against the much larger eruptions of the past and, probably, the future. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 13, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Tī Leaf Kūpe‘e Demonstration. Teana Kahoohanohano shares her knowledge and love of hula adornments. Learn how tī leaves are used to create stunning wristlets and anklets worn for certain hula dances. Watch as a simple leave is transformed into a work of art before your eyes. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

After Dark in the Park Goes to the Movies. Sam Low presents his classic seafaring film, The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific. Anthropologist and filmmaker Sam Low tells the real story of how a thousand years before Europeans knew the Pacific existed, Polynesian seafarers explored and settled this vast ocean using only natural signs to guide them. It’s one of the most amazing stories of human exploration and settlement, and it’s never been properly told. Shot on location in Huahine, Fiji, Satawai and other locations, the 1983 documentary features traditional Satawalese nagivator Mau Piailug, the sailing vessel Hokule‘a, and her crew. Low will be in attendance to answer questions and sign his new book, Hawaiki Rising – Hokule‘a, Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian Renaissance. Both the book and the DVD will be available for sale through the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association bookstore the evening of the program. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka in Concert. Come enjoy free island music with Hilo’s own Mark Yamanaka, a four-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer and songwriter. Mark will share original songs from his debut CD, Lei Pua Kenikeni. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., May 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ka‘ū ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki of all ages to join park rangers and take a closer look at the park’s Kahuku Unit for a day of activities. Connect the culture, people and the ‘āina (land) through mo‘olelo (stories), GPS, and compass. A free lunch will be provided when you sign up by calling (808) 985-6019. Deadline to register is May 16. Sponsored by the park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Free.
When: Sat., May 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Kahuku Unit, at mile marker 70.5 in Ka‘ū on the mauka side of Highway 11

Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapala Demonstration. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, were utilized to present many unique designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa.  Today, these exceptional designs are being used as patterns on all types of fabric. Join Park Ranger Koa Johnasen as he demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn about this distinctive art form. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Go Wild for Culture During National Park Week at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, will celebrate National Park Week April 19-27 with a free-admission weekend and special events nationwide.

The theme for this year’s National Park Week invites visitors to Go Wild! for history, nature, culture, wildlife, and fun in America’s national parks. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the timing is perfect for visitors to “Go Wild for Culture” while celebrating Hilo’s 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival, the most revered hula competition in the world.
Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

 Admission to all fee-charging national parks is free from Saturday, April 19 through Sunday, April 20 to kick off National Park Week. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will offer 12 Hawaiian cultural events planned April 23-25; these events are free but admission fees apply. All programs are part the park’s ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” cultural workshops, and are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association:
Wednesday, April 23
 
Kalo Demonstration. Join Edna and Sam Baldado as they share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro plant. See how each plant is identified by its leaf, steam, corm, color, and shape. Discover the hundreds of varieties of kalo in Hawaii, and how kalo was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes, and much more.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Feather Kāhili Workshop. Helene Hayselden will demonstrate the art of making a feather kāhili, a symbol of royalty. Watch or join in and make your kāhili to take home.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Rupert Tripp, Jr. Enjoy the beautiful music and voice of singer, songwriter, and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominee, Rupert Tripp, Jr.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lā‘au Lapa‘au. Ka‘ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native plants. Learn how her passion for plants and the Hawaiian culture are used to heal and nourish. See and touch a variety of medicinal plants, including kuku‘i, ‘ōlena, ha‘uowī, noni, kī, and guava.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Thursday, April 24
Feather Work. Watch Vi Makuakāne demonstrate the intricate art of feather work. Thousands of feathers are sorted, graded, trimmed, and sewn to a base. The result is a beautiful lei hulu, or feather lei.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Kenneth Makuakāne. This multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer will play original songs from his solo albums and compositions.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Kapala. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, are used to create distinct designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa. Join Keiko Mercado as she demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn this Hawaiian art form.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lei Making. Patricia Ka‘ula will demonstrate different styles of lei making: hilo, haku, hili and Ku‘i. Lei is used for everything from blessing crops, adornments for hula dancers, healing and sacred rituals, to show royal status or rank, honor guests, as peace offerings, to celebrating a birth.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
 
Robert Cazimero Book Signing. Robert Cazimero, a highly regarded and respected kumu hula, will sign the latest edition of Men of Hula, which will be available for sale. This 2011 edition by award-winning author Benton Sen chronicles how the hula teacher and Nā Hālau Kamalei shattered the stereotypical image of hula (girls in grass skirts and coconut bras) by revitalizing the masculine aspects of the ancient dance.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Friday, April 25
Kapa Demonstration. Kapa maker Ku‘uleimomi Makuakāne-Salāve‘a shares the art of kapa making. See how the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree is beaten into cloth.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Ulana Lauhala. Members of ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna perpetuate the ancient art of lauhala weaving. Observe this art form and learn to weave your own lauhala star from the leaves of the hala, or pandanus tree.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Lito Arkangel. Listen to music by Lito Arkangel, one of Hawai‘i Island’s most popular entertainers, as he plays his original compositions and Hawaiian favorites.
Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Hanu Iho Demo. Join National Park Service Master Volunteer Ed Shiinoki and Park Ranger Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita and create your own nose flute. Thin-walled Hawaiian bamboo was used to make a three-hole wind instrument called ‘ohe hano ihu or bamboo nose flute. Today, the supply of bamboo is very limited so Asian bamboo is used instead. Andrea and Ed will share the many uses of the bamboo, demonstrate how to make your own ‘ohe hano ihu, and teach you how to play it, too.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
In addition to the cultural programs at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park during National Park Week , there are Stewardship at the Summit volunteer opportunities, Kahuku hikes, and After Dark in the Park programs. Check the park website for a complete schedule.

After Dark in the Park April Events at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in April. To celebrate the Merrie Monarch Festival’s 51st anniversary, special cultural presentations are offered April 23, 24, and 25. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

A demonstration of ‘ohe kapala, or bamboo stamping, at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park  NPS photo/Jay Robinson.

A demonstration of ‘ohe kapala, or bamboo stamping, at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park NPS photo/Jay Robinson.

Adventures in the Philippines. Experience the Philippines through the eyes of Ranger Adrian Boone, who visited last November as Typhoon Haiyan bore down on the island nation. His travels included several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the 2,000-year-old Banaue Rice Terraces and Puerta Princesa Subterranean River National Park. He explored the hanging coffins of Sagada, the limestone caves of Sumaguing, northern Luzon, Manila, the ancient Spanish city Vigan in Ilocos Sur, and much more! Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., April 8, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Earthquake Storms: The Past & Present of the San Andreas Fault. Dr. John Dvorak explains the San Andreas Fault: what it is, where it is, and how it works. His new book, Earthquake Storms: The Fascinating History and Volatile Future of the San Andreas Fault will be available for sale, and it explains how the recent seismic lull in could result in an “earthquake storm” of large earthquakes. Dr. Dvorak studied volcanoes and earthquakes for the U.S. Geological Survey, taught at the University of Hawai‘i, and has written numerous cover articles for scientific publications. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., April 22, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Events Honoring the Merrie Monarch Festival. The park will offer nearly a dozen cultural programs to celebrate the 51st anniversary of the Merrie Monarch Festival, from April 23-25. All of these programs are part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Check the park website to print posters of these and other events at http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/events.htm.

Wednesday, April 23

Kalo Demonstration.
Join Edna and Sam Baldado as they share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro plant. See how each plant is identified by its leaf, steam, corm, color, and shape. Discover the hundreds of varieties of kalo in Hawaii, and how kalo was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes, and much more.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai:

Feather Kāhili Workshop. Helene Hayselden will demonstrate the art of making a feather kāhili, a symbol of royalty. Watch or join in and make your kāhili to take home.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai:

Music by Rupert Tripp, Jr. Enjoy the beautiful music and voice of singer, songwriter, and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominee, Rupert Tripp, Jr.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai:

La‘au Lapau. Ka‘ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native plants. Learn how her passion for plants and the Hawaiian culture are used to heal and nourish. See and touch a variety of medicinal plants, including kuku‘i, ‘ōlena, ha‘uowī, noni, kī, and guava.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai:

Thursday, April 24

Feather Work. Watch Vi Makuakāne demonstrate the intricate art of feather work. Thousands of feathers are sorted, graded, trimmed, and sewn to a base. The result is a beautiful lei hulu, or feather lei.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Kenneth Makuakāne. This multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer will play original songs from his solo albums and compositions.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

‘Ohe Kapala. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, are used to create distinct designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa. Join Keiko Mercado as she demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn this Hawaiian art form.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Lei Making. Patricia Ka‘ula will demonstrate different styles of lei making: hilo, haku, hili and Ku‘i. Lei is used for everything from blessing crops, adornments for hula dancers, healing and sacred rituals, to show royal status or rank, honor guests, as peace offerings, to celebrating a birth.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Robert Cazimero Book Signing. Robert Cazimero, a highly regarded and respected kumu hula, will sign the latest edition of Men of Hula, which will be available for sale. This 2011 edition by award-winning author Benton Sen chronicles how the hula teacher and Nā Hālau Kamalei shattered the stereotypical image of hula (girls in grass skirts and coconut bras) by revitalizing the masculine aspects of the ancient dance.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center

Friday, April 25

Kapa Demonstration. Kapa maker Ku‘uleimomi Makuakāne-Salāve‘a shares the art of kapa making. See how the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree is beaten into cloth.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Ulana Lauhala. Members of ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna perpetuate the ancient art of lauhala weaving. Observe this art form and learn to weave your own lauhala star from the leaves of the hala, or pandanus tree.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Music by Lito Arkangel. Listen to music by Lito Arkangel, one of Hawai‘i Island’s most popular entertainers, as he plays his original compositions and Hawaiian favorites.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Attracted 1,583,209 Visitors in 2013

National Park Service (NPS) visitation figures released today show that 1,583,209 people visited Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2013 – an increase of 6.7 percent from 2012 visitation statistics.

Panoramic of Halema‘uma‘u from Kīlauea caldera rim

Panoramic of Halema‘uma‘u from Kīlauea caldera rim

“We are pleased to again report an increase of visitors eager to enjoy Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a World Heritage Site,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “The dual eruptions from Kīlauea, the numerous cultural and scientific programs offered, and the incredibly diverse, protected ecosystem of native plants and animals, continue to attract people from the mainland, around the world, and locally,” she said.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day, all year long. The 333,086-acre park stretches from sea level to the summit of Mauna Loa – earth’s most massive active volcano – at 13,677 feet, and encompasses seven ecological zones, 155 miles of trails and 66 miles of paved roadways. It is also home to Kīlauea, one of earth’s most active volcanoes which is presently erupting from two locations: Halema‘uma‘u Crater at its summit (since 2008), and in the remote east rift zone from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent (since 1983).

Hiking Kīlauea Iki Trail

Hiking Kīlauea Iki Trail

To see the complete list of recreational visitation to all 401 national park units, and other visitor-related statistics, visit https://irma.nps.gov/Stats/.

The new visitation figures come one week after NPS released its economic impact report from 2012, which revealed that 1,483,928 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that year spent $113,376,400 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,353 jobs in the local area. To download the report, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Creates $113,376,400 in Local Economic Benefit

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2012 shows that the 1,483,928 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spent $113,376,400 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,353 jobs in the local area.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater in Kīlauea Volcano, framed by ‘ōhi‘a lehua tree. NPS photo/Jay Robinson

Halema‘uma‘u Crater in Kīlauea Volcano, framed by ‘ōhi‘a lehua tree. NPS photo/Jay Robinson

“It’s always exciting to share how much of a positive impact our national and international visitors have on the economic viability of our island community,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “On the same note, it’s also worth contemplating what the park means to our Hawai‘i Island residents. That’s difficult to define with a dollar amount,” she said.

Ross Birch, Executive Director for the Big Island Visitors Bureau, acknowledged the park’s impact on the island economy.

“Hawai‘i Island has been on an upward trend in arrivals and spending over the past few years, and a major contributor driving this demand is Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. As the number one attraction for the island, and sometimes the state, it is not a surprise to see the economic impact the park has on our community,” said Birch. “Big Island Visitors Bureau is very grateful to have such an asset and we appreciate the excellent working relationship with Cindy Orlando and her team to perpetuate these great results,” he said.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber, and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To download the report, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about nation parks in Hawai‘i and how the National Park Service works with Hawai‘i communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/hawaii.

China and Hawai’i Linked by Sister Park Agreement

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Wudalianchi National Park in China have announced a sister park agreement to strengthen their shared volcanic heritage by promoting international cooperation and support for the mutual benefit of both parks.

Courtesy photo of the five barrier lakes of Wudalianchi/Mr. Guo Bailin provided by Wudalianchi National Park in China

Courtesy photo of the five barrier lakes of Wudalianchi/Mr. Guo Bailin provided by Wudalianchi National Park in China

Both Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Wudalianchi national parks feature active volcanoes and are celebrated throughout the world for their geological, biological, and cultural attributes. In Hawai‘i, Kīlauea volcano, which is currently erupting from two locations, and Mauna Loa, which last erupted in 1984, draw more than 1.5 million visitors a year to the park. Wudalianchi has 14 volcanoes, two of which are active but not erupting. The last significant eruptive period from Laoheishan and Huoshaoshan volcanoes occurred between 1719 and 1721, resulting in large quantities of lava that formed a plateau in the center of the park, and blocked the north-south flowing Shilong River in several places – forming a string of five lakes, which translates to “Wudalianchi.” The Chinese park is also known for its mineral springs, giant boulders, and lava  tubes. Approximately a million people a year visit Wudalianchi National Park, which is located in northeast China in the Heilongjiang province, near the Russian border.

The sister park relationship enables both parks to enrich their personnel through projects of international cooperation, accomplished primarily through the exchange of managerial, technical and professional knowledge, information, and data technology.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater in Kīlauea Volcano, framed by ‘ōhi‘a lehua tree. NPS photo/Jay Robinson

Halema‘uma‘u Crater in Kīlauea Volcano, framed by ‘ōhi‘a lehua tree. NPS photo/Jay Robinson

“As an International Biosphere Reserve and the first World Heritage Site in Hawai‘i, our responsibilities transcend national boundaries,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes Superintendent, Cindy Orlando. “Working with colleagues from around the world, through sister park agreements, we are able to share best practices and programs that encourage biodiversity recovery and ecosystem protection.”

While not “twins,” the two parks share enough in common to be “sisters,” according to the sister park agreement, which is posted on the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park website. The heart of the mission of both parks is to protect the geological and biological resources that not just belong to the parks, but to the entire world.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park also has a sister park agreement with Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes in South Korea. Like Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Jeju is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park “After Dark in the Park” Events for March

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in March. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and your $2 donation helps support park programs.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Lava flows erupted from the Northeeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa on March 25, 1984. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory photo

Lava flows erupted from the Northeeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa on March 25, 1984. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory photo

From Ka‘ū to Kona: Stories of Lava Flows and Volcanic Landscapes. While driving between Ka‘ū and Kona, have you ever wondered about the prominent lava flows you see along Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Māmalahoa Highways?  If so, you are invited to join USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists Jim Kauahikaua and Janet Babb on a virtual road trip, during which they will talk about the origin and history of lava flows along Highways 11 and 190, and recount the stories of people impacted by the eruptions that created the volcanic landscape we see today. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., March 4 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

‘Ohe Kapala Demonstration. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, were utilized to present many unique designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa.  Today, these exceptional designs are being used as patterns on all types of fabric. Join Keiko Mercado as she demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn about this distinctive art form. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., March 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Ben Ka‘ili in Concert.
Hawaiian musician Ben Ka‘ili has dedicated his life to playing and promoting Hawaiian music. He has shared Hawaiian music at festivals, including the park’s 33rd annual cultural festival last July, and through concerts and performances for more than 20 years. Born on the Island of Hawai‘i, Ka‘ili started playing Hawaiian music at eight years old with his ‘ohana, including his uncle, George Lanakilakeikiahiali‘i Na‘ope. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., March 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Mauna Loa: Eruptive History and Current Status of Earth’s Largest Active Volcano. March 25, 2014, marks the 30th anniversary of the most recent eruption of Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth. Mauna Loa comprises more than half of the surface area of Hawai‘i Island, and 95 percent of this volcano is covered with lava flows less than 10,000 years old.  Since 1843, Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times – and when it erupts, fast-moving and voluminous lava flows can reach the ocean in a matter of hours, severing roads and utilities, repaving the flanks of the volcano, and building new land.  Join USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Frank Trusdell as he talks about the eruptive history and current status of Mauna Loa, an active volcano that will undoubtedly erupt again—perhaps in your lifetime.  Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., March 25 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Uhana Lauhala. Learn to weave a star from leaves of the pandanus tree. Join members of ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna as they share the art of lauhala weaving to perpetuate this Hawaiian art. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., March 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Public Comments Sought on Park’s Administrative Aviation Plan and Environmental Assessment

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has released its Mission Critical Administrative Aviation Plan and Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) for managing the use of administrative aviation over the park. The public is invited to comment online or via mail by March 7, 2014.

Air Tour

The park and cooperating agencies use helicopters over the 333,086-acre park to respond to eruption activity, monitor and study Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, control invasive species, recover rare species, restore degraded ecosystems, protect cultural resources, and conduct wildland fire, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations.

The plan/EA outlines project alternatives, including a no-action alternative and a preferred alternative. Under the no-action alternative, park staff and cooperating agencies would continue to use aviation as needed. Under the preferred alternative, aviation would be used for the health and safety of visitors, employees, and island residents, and for park resource protection and restoration activities. Under this plan, formal best-management practices (BMPs), area closures, and flight restrictions would be instituted to minimize impacts to park resources, soundscapes, wilderness, visitors, and adjoining landowners.

To review the plan/EA, and provide comments online, go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/havo. Select the Mission Critical Administrative Aviation Plan link, and click “Open for Comment” on the left, then open the document name. Download the document, or comment directly on the page. Comments can also be mailed to Superintendent, re: Admin Aviation Mgmt Plan/EA, PO Box 52, Hawaii National Park, HI  96718-0052. Comments are due March 7, 2014.

Commercial air tours over the park are being addressed through a separate planning process to develop an Air Tour Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (ATMP/EIS). The lead agency for the ATMP/EIS is the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Park Service is a cooperator.

Volunteers Enrich Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Volunteers work for free, but their time is certainly not without value. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 1,193 volunteers worked 46,757 hours in fiscal year 2013 – which equals about $1,035,200 in donations.

The 2013 Volunteers of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park were honored at a luncheon this week.  NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

The 2013 Volunteers of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park were honored at a luncheon this week. NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

At a luncheon honoring park volunteers Thursday, Superintendent Cindy Orlando praised the group, whose varied duties include working in museum collections and archives, monitoring the backcountry, visitor service, native forest restoration, trail maintenance, endangered species projects and much more.
“Volunteers not only enrich the visitor experience, but also the lives of our employees,” said Orlando. “They help us with every imaginable task and we are indebted to their service.”

Citizens interested in volunteering at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park may visit www.volunteer.gov/gov, or contact Kūpono McDaniel at (808) 985-6015 or email him at kupono_mcdaniel@nps.gov.

Critical Time at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park for Nēnē

Visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park now through April could get lucky and spot pairs of the endemic Hawaiian goose, or nēnē, flying overhead or grazing with goslings.

Click to view PSA

Click to view PSA

While nēnē are present in the park year-round, this seasonal window is their breeding and nesting time, and is vital for their survival.

Currently, female nēnē are focused on building up their fat reserves in order to lay eggs and survive the 30-day incubation period.  A few females have already started to nest in the park, and their mates are dutifully standing guard.  Because visitors can unknowingly disturb nesting nēnē, the park may temporarily close certain areas to give nēnē families a break from human interference.

“Nēnē are most vulnerable to vehicles this time of year.  They are focused on eating and could be out foraging from dawn to dusk.  They blend in with their surroundings, and in low-light periods, they are especially hard for motorists to spot,” said Kathleen Misajon, Nēnē Recovery Project manager.  

The park has posted nēnē crossing signs that highlight key roadside areas that nēnē use. These include sections of Highway 11, Crater Rim Drive, and Chain of Craters Road. Motorists are urged to use extra caution in signed nēnē crossing areas, and to obey posted speed limits.  

Nēnē are endangered, and in the mid-1940s, only 50 birds remained.  Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park began efforts to recover the species in the 1970s.  The Nēnē Recovery Program continues today, and more than 200 birds thrive in the park from sea level to around 8,000 feet. As many as 2,000 or more nēnē exist statewide.

“We’ve had a great deal of success protecting nēnē and maintaining the population in the park,” said Misajon. “But it is imperative that humans keep a respectful distance from the geese, especially during this sensitive time.”  

Visit http://www.nps.gov/havo/photosmultimedia/nene_psa.htm for more information. To report nēnē on the road in the park, call 808-985-6001. Outside the park, call 808-974-4221.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Waiving Entrance Fee for Veteran’s Day Weekend

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park joins national parks across the country in waiving entrance fees all three days of the upcoming Veteran’s Day weekend, Nov. 9-11, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

“Our nation’s veterans have sacrificed much to protect our freedom,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “To honor the selfless service of our veterans, we invite everyone to experience the American heritage by visiting their national parks at no charge this Veteran’s Day Weekend.”

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, which has dozens of veterans among its employees and volunteers, is open 24 hours a day, every day. The park offers more than 150 miles of hiking trails and many opportunities to appreciate the volcanic landscape, the pristine native environment and the Hawaiian culture that define this World Heritage Site. More than a dozen free interpretive programs are offered daily, and special events, including ‘Ike Hana No‘eau cultural workshops, After Dark in the Park presentations, hula kahiko performances, and Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” concerts, are ongoing. Check www.nps.gov/havo for information for all events.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is one of five national park units on the island of Hawai‘i.  Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is also free of charge Veteran’s Day weekend. There is no admission charged for Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, or the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

Information on special offerings at parks nationwide is available at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

Government Shutdown Forces Closure of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park – 217 Employees Affected

Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.  All visitor facilities including Kīlauea Visitor Center, park hotels, campgrounds and roads – except for Highway 11, a thru way – are closed.  The park will remain closed until the government reopens.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance

Superintendent Cindy Orlando said that park visitors in all overnight campgrounds and lodges will be given until 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 3 to make travel arrangements and leave the park. In addition, all park programs and special events have been canceled, including tonight’s After Dark in the Park presentation on earthquakes.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park hosts 4,500 visitors on average each day; nationally, more than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the National Park System. The park will lose an estimated $12,800 of entrance fees each day of the shutdown, plus other fees. Nationwide the NPS stands to lose approximately $450,000 per day in lost revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping. Gateway communities across the country see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown. Visitors spend about $96,990,000 a year in the communities around Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, or approximately $265,726 a day.

In Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, 127 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown and another 90 concessions employees are similarly affected.  Thirteen park employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services.

Nationwide the shutdown has also furloughed more than 20,000 National Park Service employees; approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities. About 12,000 park concessions employees are also affected.

Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. NPS.gov has more than 750,000 pages and 91 million unique visitors each year.

For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.

About the National Park Service. National Park Service employees care for America’s 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.