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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  counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us

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.

ISSUES:

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.

ACTIONS REQUIRED BEFORE EASEMENT CAN BE APPROVED:

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.

CONTACT YOUR COUNCIL:   counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 1: Valerie Poindexter  (808) 961-8018vpoindexter@co.hawaii.hi.us District 6: Brenda Ford (808) 323-4277bford@co.hawaii.hi.us
District 2: J Yoshimoto (808) 961-8272jyoshimoto@co.hawaii.hi.us District 7: Dru Mamo Kanuha (808) 323-4267dkanuha@co.hawaii.hi.us
District 3: Dennis Onishi (808) 961-8396donishi@co.hawaii.hi.us District 8: Karen Eoff (808) 323-4280 keoff@co.hawaii.hi.us
District 4: Greggor Ilagan (808) 965-2712gilagan@co.hawaii.hi.us District 9: Margaret Wille (808) 887-2069 mwille@co.hawaii.hi.us
District 5: Zendo Kern (808) 961-8263zkern@co.hawaii.hi.us

Kona’s Kohanaiki Beach Park Dedicated

A public blessing, dedication and opening ceremony for the new Kohanaiki Beach Park in Kona was held today at the park’s halau.
Kohanaiki Hale
Situated along 1.5 miles of coastline, Kohanaiki is one of North Kona’s most popular surfing, diving and camping areas. The park’s completion represents years of collaboration between lineal descendants of the area, community groups, the County of Hawai‘i, and Kohanaiki Shores. Ongoing responsibilities for the park will be shared between Kohanaiki Shores, the County and the community.
“This grassroots effort by the community is an excellent example of collaboration between the public, a landowner, and county government. It will ensure that Kohanaiki remains the special place that we have cherished for generations,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Mahalo to everyone in the Kona community who worked so hard to make the opening of this shoreline park possible.”
The park includes bathrooms and outdoor showers, designated camping areas, a halau for cultural practices, improved and additional parking, and improved roadways to and along the shoreline and within the park. Portable toilets, which have been in use while new facilities were being developed, will also remain in place.
“The Kohanaiki Shoreline Park is the result of years of collaboration and negotiation; it represents a willingness on the part of all stakeholders to share in the stewardship of this very special place,” said Hawai‘i County Council member Karen Eoff, who represents District 8. “A Good Faith Agreement, forged in 2003, establishes Kohanaiki as the first County park on Hawai‘i Island where management and maintenance will be a shared responsibility between landowners, County and community.” Councilwoman Eoff has been involved with the project in various capacities since its inception.
Following the dedication, the park will be open daily and available for camping five days a week for up to 80 campers a night. Park hours for day use will be from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Camping administration will eventually transition to the Department of Parks & Recreation, but is currently handled by Kohanaiki Shores. Camping permits are issued at the beach on a first come, first served basis. For more information and for reservations, call 329-6200.
Kohanaiki Park Beach

Kohanaiki Park Beach

“The new park at Kohanaiki is a great addition to our growing West Hawai‘i community,” said Parks & Recreation Director Clayton Honma. “The new facilities make this a safe place for our families to spend time together, and make it possible for more members of our community to enjoy this treasure.”
In addition to improved vehicular access, park goers can use an already established pedestrian trail, which runs the length of the shoreline and is part of the longer Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. Beyond the paved turnaround, the trail will be used to access the halau and the southern boundary of Kohanaiki.
“It’s been a journey of diplomacy, compromise, and collaboration,” said Rebecca Villegas, president of Kohanaiki ‘Ohana, an active member of the community partnership that worked toward establishment of the shoreline park. “We’ve created a model for future coastline developments, bridging the gap between government, developers, and community interests.”
A preservation and cultural plan, guided by the lineal descendants of Kohanaiki, is in place to guide the conservation of historic and cultural sites at the park, as well as ongoing cultural practices at the halau.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Invites Everyone to Hikes & Programs Offered During National Park Week

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park invites everyone to join special hikes and programs offered at the park during National Park Week, April 20-28. Entrance fees are waived Monday through Friday, April 22-26.

This year’s theme, “Did You Know,” provides a fun way to get to know the park, for both visitors and local residents. For example, did you know that Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is 520 square miles, nearly as large as the entire island of O‘ahu (597 square miles)?

The special, free programs during National Park Week include the following. Please wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water.

Kīlauea Iki trail and crater will be explored in the Kīlauea Ik hike with Charlene Meyers on April 23, during National Park Week. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi.

Kīlauea Iki trail and crater will be explored in the Kīlauea Ik hike with Charlene Meyers on April 23, during National Park Week. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi.

Kīlauea Iki Crater Hike. Join master ranger volunteer Charlene Meyers on an invigorating four-mile, three-hour hike through the rain forest and onto the crater floor of Kīlauea Iki. Learn how the 1959 eruption forever changed this landscape.
Where: Meet Charlene at the Kīlauea Iki Overlook Parking lot (on Crater Rim Drive)
When: Tuesday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Amazing Mauna Ulu. Explore fascinating volcanic features like fissures and lava trees that were formed during the 1969-74 Mauna Ulu eruption with master ranger volunteer Noel Eberz. The one-mile, one-hour round-trip hike will highlight the amazing process of plant survival on this harsh lava landscape.
Where: Meet Noel at the Mauna Ulu parking lot, four miles down Chain of Craters Road.
When: Wednesday, April 24 at 11 a.m., and again at 1 p.m.

Park Ranger Adrian Boone will lead a special trek to the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs during National Park Week, on April 25. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Park Ranger Adrian Boone will lead a special trek to the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs during National Park Week, on April 25. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs. Join Park Ranger Adrian Boone for a two-hour, 1.5-mile round-trip trek across ancient lava flows to the largest petroglyph field in Hawai‘i. Discover the meanings inherent in these rock carvings and gather a greater understanding of the native people who created them.
Where: Meet Ranger Adrian at the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs parking area, near the end of Chain of Craters Road. (A 45-minute drive from the park entrance).
When: Thursday, April 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

NPS Volunteer Day. Save Hawai‘i’s native rainforest, and join forces with volunteers Jane and Paul Field to remove Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava, and other invasive non-native plants that threaten the native understory alongside Halema‘uma‘u Trail. Bring garden gloves. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water.
Where: Meet the Fields at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Tools will be provided.
When: Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon.

There are also regularly scheduled programs in the park, and at the Kahuku Unit, during National Park Week. For a complete listing, visit the park website: http://www.nps.gov/havo/parknews/20130319_pr.htm. In addition, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has special programs during National Park Week: http://fhvnp.org/events/.

The National Park Service will waive entrance fees again on July 13 (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 33rd Annual Cultural Festival), August 25 (NPS Birthday), Sept. 28 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 9-11 (Veteran’s Day weekend).

Hawai‘i Volcanoes is one of five national park units on Hawai‘i Island. Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is also free of charge on the NPS fee-free 2013 dates. There is no admission at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, or along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

 

 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks Joining Others in Waiving Entrance Fees Martin Luther King Weekend – Other Free Days Coming Up

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will join all 397 national park units across the country in waiving entrance fees Jan. 14-16 to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Entrance fees will also be waived on Sat., Jan. 21 to honor the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s 100-year anniversary and Open House.

The HVO Open House on Jan. 21 is an ideal opportunity for residents and visitors to meet USGS scientists, learn how they monitor Hawaiian volcanoes and earthquakes, and appreciate the compelling history of this vital agency. HVO is located within the national park, but is typically not open
to the public. The Open House will feature observatory tours, demonstrations, and other activities, starting from 9 a.m.

For information on the HVO Open House and other programs offered by HVO in January, visit hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

“We are pleased to invite the public to explore their magnificent national park at no charge during these significant milestones,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “I hope everyone has an opportunity to take advantage of the fee-free dates during the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend, and can enjoy the rare privilege of visiting HVO’s Open House,” she said.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will offer numerous ranger-led hikes and programs during the fee-free dates. Visitors can find information at http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/ranger-programs.htm and check the ranger activities bulletin board at the Kīlauea Visitor Center each morning at 9 a.m.

The National Park Service will waive entrance fees on 14 other days in 2012: Apr. 21-29 (National Park Week), June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), July 14 (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 32nd Annual Cultural Festival), Sept. 29 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 10-12 (Veteran’s Day weekend).

Hawai‘i Volcanoes 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 on the NPS fee-free 2012 dates. There is no admission at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, or along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

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

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Announces 2012 Free Dates

Mark your calendars, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will join all 395 national park units across the country in waiving entrance fees for the upcoming Veteran’s Day weekend, Nov. 11-13, and on at least 18 days in 2012.

Halemaumau by Keith Burnett

Halemaumau by Keith Burnett

In 2012, the fee-free dates are Jan. 14-16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend), Apr. 21-29 (National Park Week), June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), July 14 (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 32nd Annual Cultural Festival), Sept. 29 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 10-12 (Veteran’s Day weekend).

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and 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 magnificent 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.

Viewing conditions of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from the safe proximity of the Jaggar Museum overlook continue to draw, and awe, visitors.  During the day, a vigorous column of steam, gas and ash rises into the sky and is visible miles away. At night, when conditions allow, people are drawn to Halema‘uma‘u and the hypnotic glow from the lava lake below the crater surface.

On Sun., Nov. 13, the park will offer a free “People and Land of Kahuku” hike, a three-hour ranger-led hike in the Kahuku Unit, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet near the ranch buildings inside the Kahuku Unit gate, which is located off Highway 11 between mile markers 70 and 71 on the mauka side. Boots, raingear and long pants are recommended. No advance registration required.

Also on Nov. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park holds its monthly “Sunday Walk in the Park.” This 2.6-mile round-trip walk will explore the newly opened Palm Trail in the park’s Kahuku Unit. To register and for information, contact Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at (808) 985-7373 or admin@fhvnp.org.

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, Nov. 11-13, and on the NPS fee-free 2012 dates. There is no admission at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, or along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

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

County Of Hawai‘i Acquires Pāo‘o Partnership With State and Trust for Public Land Conserves Shoreline Kohala Land

Media Release:

The County of Hawai‘i, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), and the State of Hawai‘i Legacy Land Conservation Program announced today the County’s successful acquisition of Pāo‘o, a 10.67-acre coastal parcel in Kohala near the County’s recent Kaiholena acquisition.

“With the acquisition of Pāo‘o, in addition to our earlier purchase of Kaiholena, we are putting together the largest and most significant shoreline access park in the state, rich in local historic and cultural significance, and with tremendous recreational opportunities for the benefit our Hawaii Island families,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “I’m extremely pleased that our partnership with the Trust for Public Land and state Legacy Land Conservation Commission has resulted in this acquisition of Pao`o, which demonstrates our commitment to work closely with state and private agencies to preserve our important lands for future generations.”

The property at Pāo‘o includes over 27 cultural and historical sites that are part of an extensive series of traditional Hawaiian fishing villages located along the Kohala coast, including the villages at the nearby Lapakahi State Historical Park listed on the State and National Historic Registers. The Hawai‘i County Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission (PONC) ranked this property #2 on its priority list for acquisition. The property is also located along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, a network of trails stretching 175 miles along the coastline of the island of Hawai‘i.

Funds for the $1.89 million purchase price came from the State of Hawai‘i Legacy Land Conservation Program administered by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources and the County PONC fund. $945,000 of the purchase price came from the State Legacy Land Conservation Program, which was created in 2005 and sets aside 10% of the state conveyance tax for real estate sold in Hawai‘i for land conservation. $945,000 of PONC monies were tapped for the County’s purchase. The PONC fund was created in 2006 and sets aside 2% of real property taxes for land conservation.

Laura Thielen, Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which administers the State Legacy Land Conservation Program, stated, ” It is part of DLNR’s mission to protect Hawaii’s unique natural, cultural and historic resources; as a funding partner in this acquisition, the State has helped to place the lands in the hands of a partner that will work with surrounding community to steward and protect these resources..”

In cooperation with the County, the TPL secured private financing and purchased the property in April 2010 from the private landowner, Aloha Properties, LLC, in order to take the property off the market and ensure that the County would be able to acquire the property. TPL also assisted the County in applying for $945,000 from the State Legacy Land Conservation Program. TPL’s Hawaiian Islands Program Director, Lea Hong, stated: ” Pāo‘o is an amazing cultural legacy for the Big Island and the entire State of Hawai‘i. The Trust for Public Land was happy to work with the landowner, the County, and the State Legacy Land Commission, to voluntarily conserve Pāo‘o where the public can enjoy continued access to the shoreline, and where important cultural sites can be treasured and conserved. We look forward to continuing to work with the County and the State to conserve special places throughout Hawai‘i Island.”