Commentary – Saving The Ala Kahakai “Kings” Trail

We are asking for everyones support on this issue and make aware of what is happening here.

The Ala Kahakai “Kings” trail starts from the Puna district to the northern end of Kohala.  Part of this trail is the Ala Loa trail, meaning “long trail”.  The Ala Loa  trail was added to the National Register of Historic places as number 87001127 in 1987 and then to the State Registry of Historic places as site 10-10-11, 334 on January 14, 1989.

Ala Kahakai trail

This trail runs from Kiholo Bay to Kalahuipaua near Puako.  And Puako has already been bought out by the wealthy and non-Hawaiians.  The Kings trail continues further north by Upolu point near Mo’okini Heaiu, which my ancestors were the caretakers.

A section of  “Ala Loa” will be destroyed if we don’t say or do something.  Built by our King and our ancestors, this trail was made so that we may have access to our natural resources.  However, if we don’t do anything, we will have to ask permission from the developers to have access. It is currently our right to access this trail anytime.

Please take the time to read and understand why this has significant cultural concerns (including burial sites) and value regarding the Ala Loa trail on the moku of Hawai’i. This transaction by the County Council was deviant, intentionally hiding, not following the appropriate process, no community input and cultural archeological research conducted (locally).  When will it end?  Until we have nothing left?

There is a County Council meeting regarding Res. 140-13 on December 17, 2013 and would like your support to oppose the passage of this resolution.  The time for the hearing will be available on Thursday 12/12/13.  If you cannot attend, please submit your testimony at

Mahalo nui loa no ka mea a pau

L. Lahilahi DeSoto-McCollough

Resolution 140-13: Kohala Kai LLC threatens public and traditional ala loa use and should stay in Committee until the issues are addressed and resolved.  

FACT: The ala loa trail provides public access along West Hawaii’s shoreline and is a traditional, native Hawaiian resource.

THREAT:  If the County Council passes Resolution 140-13, a dangerous precedent in favor of exclusive, private coastal development will be set as Kohala Kai LLC is approved to destroy a segment of the ala loa trail. Your rejection of Resolution 140-13 must be voiced before  the Next  County Council meeting 12/17/13, send in testimony or testify in person at any satellite office

EFFORTS:  Representatives from the North Kohala Community Access Group, the NKCDP Action Committee, neighboring Kailapa homestead, and E Mau Na Ala Hele have all requested that public coastal access easements be located on the historic ala loa trail. Public testimonies before the Finance Committee on December 3rd unanimously disapproved of Resolution 140-13.


The Planning Department failed to identify the jeep road at Kohala Kai as the ala loa.

Kohala Kai LLC and the Planning Department apparently ignored the North Kohala Community Development Plan which calls for the ala loa and traditional trails for shoreline access.

Kohala Kai LLC’s public parking, supposedly “in close proximity to the mauka-makai trail,” is provided 100yds away from the trail and requires a 160ft walk along the highway.

Kohala Kai LLC constructed a shoreline trail away from the ala loa prior to a Public Access Plan and Planning Department review and approval, in violation of the SMA. Location of the trail lacked any public review.

The Planning Department allowed Kohala Kai LLC a private golf cart path over the known ala loa as well as a recreational center and canoe “hale” for exclusive residential uses, even though they are not included in Kohala Kai LLC’s permit applications. The proposed hale site is a known significant archeological site.

Trail maintenance responsibility was shifted from Kohala Kai LLC and its successors to the County and the size from “a minimum 6-foot wide walking area with a graded earthen surface” to “a cleared or constructed earthen surface.

No easements preserve reasonable access to cultural, historic and burial sites.


Survey of ala loa trail/jeep road alignment and registration with Historic Sites Preservation Division and incorporated into the Ala Kahakai  National Historic trail

Revision of Public Access Plan and subdivision plat maps for all three subdivisions to show the ala loa as the public access.

Revision of Public Access Plan to meet recommendations of the SMA permits and to include native tenant rights and traditional and customary practices, including ocean access at the canoe landing.

Withdraw approvals for golf cart path and private clubhouse.

Per original agreement, Kohala Kai LLC be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the vertical and lateral public access areas.

Planning Dept. and County Council to work with the CDPs.


District 1: Valerie Poindexter  (808) District 6: Brenda Ford (808)
District 2: J Yoshimoto (808) District 7: Dru Mamo Kanuha (808)
District 3: Dennis Onishi (808) District 8: Karen Eoff (808) 323-4280
District 4: Greggor Ilagan (808) District 9: Margaret Wille (808) 887-2069
District 5: Zendo Kern (808)

One Response

  1. Holy Moly … it’s nice having all the key contact information for council members so conveniently provided!

    Damon Tucker is my hero!

    Hope to attend or, at least, provide written comments.

    Thanks, again.

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