Kokua Line: Vehicle-access permit doesn’t allow off-roading at Kaena Point; report violators
Question: We applied for and received a vehicle pass for the restricted portion of Kaena Point.
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Question: We applied for and received a vehicle pass for the restricted portion of Kaena Point. We received a detailed description of the restrictions. We were instructed to place our permit on our rear bumper and that only vehicles with entry passes have permission to enter. However, we have seen many unpermitted vehicles within the reserve and many more that just follow friends through the locked gate. We have also seen gatherings of unpermitted vehicles with dogs, which are also not allowed within the reserve. Is there any kind of enforcement or ranger assigned who periodically checks on violations? We’ve also seen monk seals being harassed.
Answer: There is enforcement oversight, and witnesses also are encouraged to report violations, said A.J. McWhorter, a spokesman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
“There are routine patrols of Kaena Point State Park and any illegal activities conducted are addressed. If it is a violation of Hawaii Administrative Rules, those subjects would be required to appear in front of a judge. DOCARE officers are tasked with multiple areas to patrol, respond to complaints and enforce the laws, rules and regulations. We encourage everyone to please feel free to contact the 24-hour DLNR tip line at 643-DLNR (3567) or download the free DLNR tip app so we can address any violations that occur,” he said.
DOCARE, which stands for Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, is DLNR’s enforcement branch.
You can download the app at Google Play or the App Store, depending on what type of smartphone you own.
After you submitted your question, access by permitted vehicles was closed due to heavy rain and poor road conditions. Such access was likely to reopen today, but check 808ne.ws/kaveh to confirm and for further updates.
A different reader (a visitor) also had a question about Kaena Point.
Q: How do we get a four-wheeling permit?
A: You don’t. Kaena Point State Park, the gateway to Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve at Oahu’s northwest point, is not an off-roading recreational area. In fact, the state issues vehicle-access permits to deter four-wheeling, not to sanction it.
“The Vehicle Access Special Use Permit is required to drive a vehicle into Kaena Point State Park Reserve, Mokuleia Section, beyond the gate and the paved road that ends at the gravel parking area. Initiated in 2015 primarily as a cultural and natural resources management tool that was generally supported by the community to protect Kaena, this permit system aimed to curtail 20 years of increasing landscape degradation caused by uncontrolled four-wheel drive vehicle use in the reserve. Permit conditions require drivers to remain on a limited number of designated dirt roads and stress that this is not a four-wheel drive recreation area — but that the designated roads are for responsible access for fishing, sightseeing, coastal access and to get to the Natural Area Reserve and the point itself,” the DLNR explains on the park’s website.
I was dropping off a friend at Costco Kapolei so that she could wait there while I searched for parking. Before I could get out of the car to assist her, she was out the door and fell to the ground. I am happy to say she was not seriously injured, but was shaken and had numerous cuts and bruises. Ida Bess and Randy were quickly on hand with first-aid supplies to address her wounds. Other caring strangers also stopped to help, but I soon realized that Ida Bess and Randy must be part of Costco’s rescue team. It was so reassuring to receive their care and concern in today’s busy world. We are so appreciative! — J.S.
Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.