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.