VIDEO: Kula Forest and Polipoli Park to Reopen After Iselle DamageMarch 10, 2015, 1:49 PM HST · Updated March 10, 3:36 PM 0 Comments
By Maui Now Staff
Maui’s Kula Forest Reserve and Polipoli State Recreation Area are scheduled to reopen on April 3, 2015, following the August 2014 closure due to damage from Hurricane Iselle. During the weather event, state officials with the Department of Land and Natural Resources say large stands of Eucalyptus trees fell to the ground in 50 to 80 mph winds.
One stand 0f trees within view of the Polipoli Springs cabin and campground was completely flattened, according to department reports.
Managers closed the reserve and park before the storm passed, a decision authorities say proved to be prudent since picnic tables and other structures were destroyed by falling trees.
According to department reports, roughly seven miles of the Nā Ala Hele trail system experienced damage during the storm, with two and a half miles of trail in the forest reserve sustaining concentrated or heavy damage. The area has since undergone repairs.
Officials say repairs are ongoing along the makai boundary fence, adjacent to several ranches, which sustained about three miles of damage from large wind-thrown trees.
Individuals returning to the recreation area are advised to be alert and still exercise caution as trees away from managed roads may have been compromised.
State Parks Assistant Administrator Curt Cottrell cautioned visitors traveling off-road into the backcountry saying they should, “look up often, listen if there is wind for potential limbs breaking, and avoid walking under a potentially hazardous tree.”
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we took steps over the past few months to make repairs to public facilities and to remove any hazards that could have created safety issues for visitors. The closure of the forest reserve and the state park also gave us an opportunity to make some other needed improvements to create a better and safer user experience in this very popular area,” said Lance DeSilva, DOFAW’s Maui Forestry Manager.