HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1267

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to the department of land and natural resources.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions, are significant for their beauty, cultural and historical significance, and exceptional value to the Hawaiian community. Historcally, these areas were primarily known for their lawaia (fishing practices), as well as other traditional Native Hawaiian practices such as lua (warrior training) and laau lapaau (medicinal practices). These areas are places of cultural enlightenment and healing and are rich in moolelo (history) encompassing life from beginning to end.

In 2016, due to years of overuse and abuse from illegal driving on the beach, unmanaged camping, harmful fishing and gathering practices, and other recreational uses that created unacceptable, potentially hazardous accumulations of dangerous rubbish and human waste, areas of Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions were closed to overnight access. The intent was to reopen with a proper management system in place that encompasses Hawaiian managagement values in balancing public use with the preservation of the āina, wildlife, and cultural resources. However, a proper management system has yet to be implemented.

The legislature notes that prioritizing the State's natural resources is an essential component of destination management. Before 2020, annual arrivals to the State exceeded 10,000,000 visitors, and according to state economists, by 2025, Hawaii will again return to pre-pandemic tourism levels. Social media has only perpetuated this growth. The legislature believes that rising visitor numbers in Hawaii's state parks could be better managed by implementing various types of management systems.

The legislature further finds that in 2018, massive flooding on Kauai damaged surrounding bridges, beaches, and roads, thereby forcing Hāena state park to close for fourteen months. When the park reopened, the department of land and natural resources worked with the local community to implement a management system that balanced public use with Hawaiian cultural values and the preservation of the āina, wildlife, and cultural resources. Furthermore, based on the success of the Hāena state park model, House Bill No. 2446, Regular Session of 2022, was introduced to appropriate moneys for the department of land and natural resources to replicate models such as used at Hāena state park. That measure also appropriated additional moneys from the state parks special fund for purposes of state park management.

Recently implemented management plans and models have been shown to improve and promote a more harmonious relationship between public use and park maitenance and preservation. Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions are in dire need of such a model. Although the needs of each state park may have their similarities, each park is unique and its needs may vary based on location and useage.

The abuse and harmful activities have plagued these ahupuaa of Mākua, Kahanahāiki, and Keawaula for more than a century. The legislature finds that a proper management system for these areas is long overdue and the implementation of a system to improve public safety and environmental protection is necessary.

The purpose of this Act is to require the department of land and natural resources to develop and implement an improved management system for Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions.

SECTION 2. (a) The department of land and natural resources shall deem that Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions are a top priority for the development and implemenation of an improved management system.

(b) The department of land and natural resources shall develop and implement a management system to allow for improved management, such as what has been utilized and deemed successful at Hāena state park, provided that the management system pursuant to this Act shall be unique and tailored to the specific criteria and needs of Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions.

(c) In the development and implementation of a management system for Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions, the department of land and natural resources shall:

(1) Collaborate collectively with community stakeholders and cultural practioners of the specific regions;

(2) Work with all parties that share land use and jurisdiction within the encompassed land and marine areas;

(3) Ensure the sustainability of the management system by working with outside partners, such as local non-profit organizations, as has been done at other state parks management systems; and

(4) Maintain the current limited access due to misuse and the lack of management until proper measures are employed to address and resolve these issues.

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for the development and implementation of a management system for Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions.

The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of land and natural resources for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2023.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

DLNR; Kaena Point State Park, Mākua, KeawaUla; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the department of land and natural resources to develop and implement a management system for Kaena point state park, Mākua, and Keawaula regions. Appropriates funds.

 

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.