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DLNR: Sacred Falls State Park still off-limits to public

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 08:03 a.m. HST, May 10, 2014

A rise in recent citations for people trespassing at Sacred Falls State Park prompted the Department of Land and Natural Resources to remind the public that the park is closed due to danger from falling rocks.

May 9 marked the 15-year anniversary of a massive rockslide in 1999 that killed eight people and injured about 50, according to the DLNR.  Following that incident, the park was closed to the public.

"So many of us remember the loss, pain, and suffering that ensued at Sacred Falls 15 years ago," said Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William J. Aila, Jr. "Yet, people continue to illegally hike in the park, ignoring DLNR's clear signage and exposing themselves to possible injury or death, and criminal citation."

From March to April 2014, the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement issued about 30 citations for illegal entry into Sacred Falls State Park, many of which involved out-of-state residents or U.S. military personnel, according to the DLNR.

Entry into Sacred Falls State Park, and any other closed state park, is a petty misdemeanor, punishable in court with fines of a minimum $100 for a first offense; $200 for a second offense; and $500 for a third or subsequent offense. The Board of Land and Natural Resources may also pursue civil administrative penalties of up to $2,500 for a first violation; $5,000 for a second violation; and $10,000 for a third or subsequent violation, according to the DLNR.

 "We encourage people to enjoy the many other state parks and trails that are open and accessible to the public, such as the trails managed by the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife under the Na Ala Hele Trail Access system," said Dan Quinn, administrator for the DLNR Division of State Parks.

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Pocho wrote:
You have to enforce the off-limits signage. Make the rule breakers pay dearly monetarily and maybe a short jail cell stay.
on May 10,2014 | 08:07AM
SteveToo wrote:
Put up a few more signs and then open the gate. Let the hikers take their chance w/nature. And fire the stupid judges that don't throw these kind of cases out.
on May 10,2014 | 10:12AM
MC96816 wrote:
Need stronger enforcement. $500 minimum first offense. Fine all who break the rules. $100 is too low and people will just go and take the chance that they won't get caught.
on May 10,2014 | 10:32AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The trails should be open to those who wish to hike and take whatever risk exists.
on May 10,2014 | 11:05AM
SteveToo wrote:
You got that RIGHT!
on May 10,2014 | 05:19PM
Pocho wrote:
They'll still sue the State of Hawaii somehow, there's a lot of attorneys out there and If there's a Will There's a Way
on May 10,2014 | 07:21PM
Grimbold wrote:
The attorneys just exploit the laws their fellow attorneys make for their own benefit. Common sense is out by the door --lawyer profits in by the door.
on May 10,2014 | 08:06PM
Grimbold wrote:
It is a shame the trail is closed. Nobody but the lawyers and their stranglehold on legislature are to be blamed. There is no common sense and personal responsibility laws in this state.
on May 10,2014 | 08:04PM
dlg808 wrote:
Maneki, its fine if everyone accepts the responsibilities and consequences of their actins after getting hurt. Unfortunately when someone gets hurt, the victim or the victims family want to sue. They sue the State of Hawaii which is you and me and all the other Hawaii taxpayers.
on May 10,2014 | 12:47PM
SteveToo wrote:
That's cause our LIBERAL judges let them take the case to court. Should be thrown out the same as if someone fell off some mountain in one of our National Parks. No one sues the Feds over something like this.
on May 10,2014 | 05:20PM
noheawilli wrote:
I hike and climb all over this state and will never sue. These are unelected DLNR ppl who have had OUR land labeled off limits. Disgusting and cannot be tolerated.
on May 10,2014 | 03:55PM
Pocho wrote:
bs, if you ever get hurt on the trail and become incapacitated you find a lawyer and sue the State. You'll find an excuse to make your life comfortable. Who's paying your freebie Helicopter ride out of the mountains is something happens? You think we going leave you in the mountains injured li dat?
on May 10,2014 | 07:24PM
leino wrote:
One of the worst decisions by judge ever. The rock fall at Sacred Falls was an act of God and there was lots of signing and the Judge still found the State culpable. This has put the State in a paranoid liability frame of mind ever since. Sad state of affairs.
on May 10,2014 | 04:11PM
2NDC wrote:
People caught trespassing should be severely fined, equipment confiscated and forfeited and names with photos published in the newspapers. Do this enough times then violations will decrease.
on May 10,2014 | 05:28PM
Grimbold wrote:
We live already almost like in a Ghetto.
on May 10,2014 | 08:09PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
It is completely inappropriate for civil servants to have closed this trail and for previous hikers, and their families, to avoid accepting personal responsibility and accountability for their actions in 1999.
on May 11,2014 | 06:35AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
There needs to be some type of tort reform so if people venture into clearly marked and designated areas which are dangerous and off limits then they should be unable to sue if they are injured or worse.....
on May 11,2014 | 01:44PM
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