Photographer wanted a national park for Kaua’i

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.

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