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DLNR Holds Public Hearing On Proposed Kaluanui Natural Area Reserve

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, to receive public testimony on the proposed Kaluanui Natural Area Reserve that will be withdrawn from the upper portion of Sacred Falls (Kaluanui) State Park and transferred to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Natural Area Reserve Program.

DLNR

The meeting will take place at the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center at 53-516 Kamehameha Highway, Hauula, HI 96717.

This 376-acre area being proposed as a natural area reserve does not include the formerly used public trail or change the closed status of the Sacred Falls state park and trail that leads up to a pool located at the base of Kaliuwaa (Sacred) Falls. Both the park and trail will remain closed to public access due to hazards from rocks falling on the trail and at the pool.

The Kaluanui Natural Area Reserve will allow for more intensive natural resource management designed to protect and preserve this portion of Oahu’s native rainforests that contains rare plants, damselflies and snail populations. Improved management of these biological resources will allow future generations to study and learn about a native Hawaiian ecosystem in the windward Koolau Mountains.

“Many of these native species are only found in the Kaluanui area and are perilously close to extinction from the impacts of invasive plants and animals. The Natural Area Reserves System seeks to protect the best remaining samples of Hawaii’s unique ecosystems,”said William Aila Jr., DLNR chairperson.

In addition to saving native species, forest protection secures Hawaii’s water supplies. Hawaii’s native forests collect rain and fog, providing water for human use. Forests also prevent erosion that muddies beaches and reefs.

Persons unable to attend or wishing to present additional comments may mail written testimony received no later than Feb. 6, 2013, to the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, attn: Emma Yuen, 1151 Punchbowl St., Rm. 325, Honolulu HI, 96813, or via e-mail to Emma.Yuen@hawaii.gov.

Copies of the nomination and a map of the area are available for inspection by contacting the address above. Any person may testify or present information at the public hearing.

Anyone planning to attend the above meeting who requires auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter), should request assistance 10 working days prior to the date of the hearing by calling 587-4170.