HONOLULU (AP) — Conservationist and photographer Robert Wenkam, who
unsuccessfully lobbied to have a national park established on Kaua’i in the
’60s, died Thursday in Carson City, Nev., while attending a travel writers’
conference. He was 80.
A founder of the Sierra Club’s Hawai’i chapter,
Wenkam came to Hawai’i in 1941 to working with the Army Corps of Engineers as a
civil engineer. He helped design most of the military sewage treatment plans in
He later went to work for Honolulu’s parks and recreation division
and designed animal shelters at the Honolulu Zoo and the sewage system for the
Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki.
He was an original member of the state Land
Use Commission, and helped zone Hawai’i’s land.
Wenkam photographed, wrote
and published at least a dozen pictorial books on Hawai’i and other parts of
the world, including one about Na Pali Coast, which he tried hard to bring
under federal protection.
He founded the Conservation Committee of the
Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club and was the first chairman of the Hawai’i
Chapter of the Sierra Club.
He was president of the Federation of Western
Outdoor Clubs and founded the Kaua’i National Park Citizen’s Committee.
is survived by two daughters, two sons and two grandchildren.