DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PETER T. YOUNG, CHAIRPERSON
Phone: (808) 587-0401
Fax: (808) 587-0390
For Immediate Release: April 10, 2007
DLNR Opens New
“We are pleased to announce, that in addition to the trails that have been authorized for OHV use in the Upper Waiakea ATV/dirt bike park on the slopes of Mauna Kea, there is now a second area on the Big Island that departmental staff and local riders have determined is suitable for off-road vehicles to ride safely and with minimal disturbance to the forest environment,” said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) and an organization called the “ATV Riders of Hawai‘i,” have worked together to identify suitable roads that can accommodate responsible riding, and will be posting signs so users will have a clear indication of where they can ride and where it is prohibited.
For some time hunters have been using OHVs on access roads in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve. However, the need to designate access roads arose due to the growing popularity and subsequence increase OHV use in this forest reserve by riders who simply did not know where it is appropriate to ride, and where it is not appropriate.
Over the past three years, unauthorized trails going cross country within the forest were appearing due to increased OHV use. Hill climbing on the environmentally sensitive pu‘u (cinder cones) has created erosion prone ruts and scars that will last for several decades if not mitigated. Riders speeding on narrow, winding forest roads created a hazard to other recreation vehicles and interfered with game bird hunting due to the increased OHV sound levels and use in random locations.
“The majority of OHV riders are law-abiding citizens, and simply don't know where they can ride or how sensitive the landscape is in this high elevation,” said Young. “We do not want to completely restrict this activity on the mountain, but would prefer to provide an opportunity to enjoy responsible OHV riding in authorized locations. This is a high elevation, scenic forest, and riding must occur in a manner that does not degrade this rare and fragile environment.”
The riding area consists of two jeep roads, R-10 (Skyline road) and R-1 (the Na Ala Hele Mauna Kea access road). Total length one way is 40.4 miles and users can ride in both directions.
These roads offer varying terrain and some
of the most spectacular views in the state.
The trail will circumnavigate
In order to protect the forest environment
riders may only ride on Roads R-1 (
Important: It is recommended that all riders/operators of non-licensed vehicle, ATV, motorcycle, dune buggies, etc. while on these roads should wear bright colored clothing. However, when hiking off of these roads, it is mandatory that you wear an exterior garment (shirt, vest, jacket, or coat) made of commercially manufactured, solid blaze-orange mesh material with a maximum mesh size of one-eighth inch. (All types of camouflage orange are prohibited for these garments). When wearing a backpack, the blaze orange on the upper torso must be visible from both front and back. It is also mandatory to sign in and out at the hunter check stations at Kilohana and Puu Huluhulu.
Requirements to ride
Riders must obtain, in advance, a permit
from the Division of Forestry and Wildlife and complete a liability waiver
agreement. These are available at the DOFAW office in
All OHVs must be equipped with a functioning U.S. Forest Service approved spark arrestor. Riding areas nationwide are reducing use due to the associated sound levels; therefore, DLNR supports the California OHV sound limit of 96 decibels.
It is mandatory that each permittee sign in and out at the hunter check stations at Kilohana and Pu‘u Huluhulu. Occasional closures due to forest fires and animal eradication will be posted at these check stations.
It is mandatory that all riders/operators of non-licensed vehicles, ATV, motorcycle, dune buggies, etc. while in any DOFAW public hunting area shall wear an exterior garment (shirt, vest, jacket, or coat) made of commercially manufactured, solid blaze-orange material or solid blaze-orange mesh material with a maximum mesh size of one-eighth inch. (All types of camouflage orange are prohibited for these garments). When wearing a back pack, the blaze orange on the upper torso must be visible from both front and back.
All local state and federal laws apply.
It is unlawful to operate an OHV under the influence of drugs or alcohol or in a manner that endangers the safety of others, or to ride on trails, access roads or open land that is not designated and posted for OHV use.
For more information on riding preparedness tips, safe road habits and emergency protocol, please call the Division of Forestry and Wildlife Hilo office at 974-4221.
# # #
For more information, media may contact:
DLNR Public Information Specialist
Phone: (808) 587-0320
Department of Land and Natural Resources is working statewide with local communities and various off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts to explore the growing interest in finding places to legally ride off-road.
“DLNR’s priority is to protect and preserve natural and cultural resources on state land, in the parks, forest reserves, and unencumbered lands," said Peter Young, DLNR chairperson.
At present, it is prohibited to use and operate off-highway motorcycles, all terrain vehicles (ATV), and recreational vehicles such as dune buggies while on unauthorized and undesignated portions of state land, such as unencumbered state land, state parks, forest reserves, public hunting areas and the ancillary access roads and trails
All motorized vehicles are prohibited from operating on beaches, through vegetation or on any other area that is not a designated roadway. Violators are subject to citations and/or arrest, and the motorized equipment may be seized and subject to forfeiture.
"The goal of developing these working relationships is to work together to responsibly identify suitable places that can sustain the impact of the variety of vehicles able to ride off-road, and to avoid damage to natural resources in sensitive areas from outlaw-style riding,” Young said.
"At the same time we want to foster rider cooperation and respect for the environment through education," he said.
However, because there are severe environmental and social limitations on a considerable amount of public land statewide, there is concern that increasing OHV use will hit a threshold that is beyond the role and responsibility of the government to service. DLNR is hopeful that the private sector retail shops that promote and sell OHVs and private landowners will collaborate through partnerships that allow for the establishment of additional OHV riding areas, such as on marginal agricultural lands that are not subject to use.
The island of O‘ahu has a riding area that was developed in the late 1970's on state land in Kahuku, via a revocable permit issued to Hawai‘i Motorsports Association. Under a lease agreement with the Army, public use is restricted to weekends and holidays only, and is closed during military training periods. Due to the increasing popularity of OHV's, this area is reaching recreational capacity.
DLNR’s Na Ala Hele
Trails and Access Program is presently working with
the Sand Island Off-Highway Vehicle Association (SIOHVA) to develop an OHV
riding area on approximately 30 acres of an unused portion of
On the island of Kaua‘i,
the County will be using an 18-acre area in Kalepa
for a moto-cross track to replace the existing moto-cross track next to Wailua
Golf Course. In 2001
DLNR set-aside this state land to the
The Upper Waiakea
ATV/Dirt Bike park (just south of
This track in
This is a multi activity facility to be
developed about 6 miles north of
covered in the local newspapers. It will have a motocross track, oval dirt track, drag strip, BMX
track, and more. There will be some off-road trails. The land is currently State-owned but the agreement is apparently to transfer it to the County and for there to be an agreement between the County and Hawaii Racing Association. It is intended to be a commercial facility with entrance fees. Hawaii Racing Association is currently working on financing. For more info contact Nelson Parker at (808) 960-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about available OHV
riding areas on these islands, call: O‘ahu — Hawai‘i Motorsports Association (668-6276);
# # #