DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release:
DLNR To Hold Public Meeting
HONOLULU -- The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold a public meeting on Kaua‘i to receive public testimony on its draft master plan and environmental impact statement (EIS) for Koke‘e and Waimea Canyon State Parks.
The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, January 8, 2007 at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall, 4191 Hardy Street, in Lihu‘e.
The primary goals of the master plan for Koke‘e and Waimea Canyon State Parks are the preservation, enhancement and management of the natural, historic and cultural resources and the upgrade of interpretive programs and recreational opportunities.
“These parks are important and treasured recreational areas for the people of Kaua‘i, and the rest of the State of Hawai‘i. We want to make sure the correct thing happens there,” said Young.
“We welcome and appreciate the participation of the Kaua‘i residents in the planning process,” he said.
DLNR will present clarifications and revisions to the plan that were recently made. The public may give additional input on these revisions and clarifications, which include:
• Reconfirmation that the goal of the master plan is to preserve the existing character of the parks with upgrades to park user safety, amenities, infrastructure and utilities in a manner that reinforces the parks’ historic and wildland character, and avoids intensifying development.
• Deletion of the 40 to 60-room lodge as any form of alternative in the master plan. Although the public first brought out this idea during early testimony, recent opposition clearly shows there is limited support for this to be considered in the final master plan.
• Modification of language to emphasize that the plan is about the appropriate upgrade of facilities, safety and enhancement of user experiences at the parks, not about revenue generation.
• Clarification that the helicopter landing zone in the park is to be used only for government emergency and maintenance purposes. Also, no lookout improvements will be made in the area referred to as “secret bluff” (also know as Brennecke/Porter cabins site.)
• Addition of evaluation of the appropriate level of short-term rental units presently managed and part of the existing concession with the restaurant in the park (Koke‘e Lodge.)
• Statements that DLNR prefers, and is investigating, ways to restrict participation in future recreation residence lease dispositions to Hawai‘i residents only, with preference to Kaua‘i residents.
• Re-emphasis that DLNR is very concerned about the historical integrity of the cabins and the parks. DLNR plans to include provisions in new leases requiring lessees to preserve the historic integrity of the recreation residences and the character of the historic district.
• Re-emphasis that the BLNR exempted Hawai‘i residents from any park entry fee. There will be a park entry station that will: establish the parks’ identity and service park users, manage access for park safety and resource management and collect entry fees from nonresidents. There will be no gate.
The draft master plan for Kokee and Waimea Canyon state parks and EIS can be viewed online at http://www.state.hi.us/dlnr/dsp/
Individuals requiring special assistance or accommodations are asked to contact the Division of State Parks at (808) 587-0293, at least five (5) days in advance of the meeting.
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