Sierra Club wants it wild in Maha’ulepu

MAHA’ULEPU — The Sierra Club’s Malama Kahakai (Keep it Wild) campaign is

concentrating here on the southeast coast of Kaua’i.

The area, which the

environmental group has identified as one of Hawaii’s top seven remaining

wilderness shorelines, will be the focus of a meeting next Tuesday evening at

6:30 p.m. at Koloa Community Library.

The presentation will be overseen by

the club’s new coastal conservation coordinator on Kaua’i, Beryl

Blaich.

Blaich said the coastal property has been owned by Grove Farm, one

of Kaua’i’s oldest sugar and land development companies, for more than 50

years.

“We’re so hoping that this can be a cooperative venture with the

landlord. Basically, Grove Farm is not planning anything (development) at this

time. But whoever the landlord is or shall be, we need to be acting now for the

green space of the future,” Blaich said.

According to the Sierra Club,

Grove Farm has been a good steward of the land.

“By keeping the coastal

area open during the day and closing the access gate at night, Grove Farm has

generously maintained the coastal area as a de facto public park. In addition,

the company is highly supportive of the important research conducted there,”

according to Blaich’s essay about Maha’ulepu, published in the current Journal

of the Hawai’i Chapter of the Sierra Club.

But, worried about the future of

the area—a prime spot for more development because of various past proposals

which haven’t been implemented—the Sierra Club has already partnered with

Malama Maha`ulepu, a Poi’pu citizen group with a history of battling

development.

The club wants people to remember that the area is a vital

natural habitat for many species on the federal Endangered Species list,

including Hawaii’s state bird, the Nene goose, plus the Hawaiian monk seal and

the green sea turtle.

Additional information is available from Blaich at

blaich@aloha.net.

Staff writer Dennis Wilken can be reached at

245-3681 (ext. 252).

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