Sweeps show improvement in Kauai’s Kalalau Valley
During their latest sweep of Kauai’s Kalalau Valley, state conservation officers cited three campers without permits, dismantled a squatter camp and spotted a handful of illegal camps hidden in the forest.
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During their latest sweep of Kauai’s Kalalau Valley, state conservation officers cited three campers without permits, dismantled a squatter camp and spotted a handful of illegal camps
hidden in the forest.
The Nov. 14 action was part of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ two-year campaign to clean up one of Hawaii’s largest parks.
On Tuesday, DLNR officials said the effort is making dramatic headway in transforming a wilderness area that hasn’t looked as good in decades.
“It’s really looking good
at Kalalau,” DLNR Director Suzanne Case said at a news conference. “We’re very, very proud of how much better Kalalau Valley is looking and the whole Na Pali Coast area.”
Robert Farrell, chief of the state Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement, said the latest sweep was in sharp contrast to last year and two years ago, when officers were finding dozens of illegal campers during a single-day visit.
Earlier this year officials reported citing more than 200 people at Kalalau over the last two years.
In the latest sweep a team of four officers dismantled a squatter camp in the designated camping area, officials said, and a state parks maintenance team was scheduled to bag it up the next day and fly it out with other rubbish. But the camp was back in place by the time maintenance workers got there the following day.
Officials said the incident was an example of the kind of persistence the state has faced in its campaign over the last few years.
Curt Cottrell, Division of State Parks administrator, said he’s still hoping to
obtain the funds to allow for at least of couple of dedicated, full-time park staff at Kalalau to provide education, outreach, emergency response and law enforcement notification.
The DLNR asked this year’s Legislature for six
positions for the park (about $300,000 a year) before lowering its request to two (less than $100,000), but none
was funded. Cottrell said the department would ask for funds again next year.