DLNR to close Napali Coast State Park for rockfall mitigation at Kalalau Valley

August 12, 2010, 3:21 PM HST · Updated August 12, 3:22 PM
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The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will close the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park on Kaua‘i’s north shore, from Hanakapi‘ai to Kalalau valley, from September 7 through October 31, 2010 for a multi-faceted improvement effort that includes a rockfall mitigation project above the Ho‘ole‘a waterfall and shoreline sea cave areas. The park will reopen for public use afterwards.

“This unprecedented closure will provide us the opportunity to address a variety of long-overdue, critical public safety and natural and cultural resource management issues, as we pursue our commitment to improving one of the most popular wilderness camping areas in the world,” said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson.

“It is DLNR’s expressed goal to reinvest portions of new funding being generated by its Recreational Renaissance initiative – such as from increased camping rates and other new revenue sources – back into recreational areas in need of improvements for public safety and to protect their natural and cultural resources,” said Thielen.  

DLNR’s Divisions of State Parks, Forestry and Wildlife, and Conservation and Resources Enforcement, along with contractor AIS Construction, which is performing the rock scaling services will conduct a collaborative project that includes:

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•  Clearing and preparing designated areas for campsites, and permanently closing the campsites near the waterfall and on the trail sections leading from the existing helipad that are subject to frequent rockfall.

•  Removing illegal camping and squatter dwellings and paraphernalia; and executing a comprehensive enforcement sweep of the Kalalau Beach, Valley and stream sections and numerous interior locations.

•  Reducing feral ungulate (goats and pigs) population through more intensive hunting using public hunters

•  Monitoring and surveying of archaeological and cultural sites.

•  Kalalau Trail restoration and installation of safety devices at approximately the 7- to 8-mile markers.

•  Installing new and replacing existing signage such as management signs, directional signs, warning signs, and interpretive signs.

The department is working to develop a long-term, sustained and collaborative management strategy to eliminate the frequent recurrence of illegal campers and their accumulated rubbish and gear; improve and increase frequent control of feral goats, and provide more sustained maintenance of composting toilets and camping areas.

(Supporting information provided by the State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources)

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