Maui News

Haleakalā Sunrise Summit Visitation Public Comments Accepted

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Haleakalā National Park is seeking public comment as they work on the development of an environmental assessment to address overcrowding and resource concerns during sunrise visitation to the summit of Haleakalā. Public comments are encouraged by July 21, 2017.

Haleakalā sunrise. PC: Haleakalā National Park (2017)

Sunrise viewing at the summit of Haleakalā is a top visitor attraction on Maui. Pre-dawn through sunrise is the busiest time of day, and there has been an ongoing, steady, and significant increase in sunrise visitation.

In response to concerns about safety and resource damage from overcrowding at the summit during sunrise hours, emergency restrictions were enacted to address the problem.

In fact, the park’s sunrise visitation grew by 21% from 2015 to 2016, five times the overall visitation increase.

A pilot reservation system for sunrise summit visitation was introduced in February of 2017 and has dramatically reduced crowding at the summit during sunrise hours. The reservation system currently in place will be evaluated in this environmental assessment, along with other potential solutions to the problems associated with overcrowding at the summit during sunrise hours.  Sunrise reservations may be obtained at www.recreation.gov.

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The purpose of the environmental assessment is to analyze the impact of potential park actions to manage sunrise summit visitation at Haleakalā National Park in a manner that provides for the safety of employees and park visitors, protects sensitive natural and cultural resources, and improves visitor experience.

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The National Park Service seeks input from the public on relevant issues, potential alternatives, or concerns that should be addressed during the planning effort and environmental analysis. Community members can share their comments via mail or online from June 21 through July 21, 2017.

The public is also invited to attend one of two public meetings: June 21 at the Hannibal Tavares Community Center room near the pool in Pukalani, and June 22 in the multipurpose room at Baldwin High School in Wailuku. Both meetings are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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