Monday, May 16, 2022 |
Share this story
WAIMEA, Kaua’i (AP) – The Navy plans to permanently limit shoreline access at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands.
The Navy has no intention of re-establishing the kind of wide-open access that has been in place for most of the past 50 years for fishing, camping, surfing and other beach activities, according to a Navy spokeswoman.
Lt. Cmdr. Jane Campbell said the Navy is reviewing several plans in trying to find a workable and feasible solution.
Complete details of the plan won’t be made public until the mayor and Kauai County Council are briefed Tuesday evening.
But Campbell said one plan calls for the beaches to be entirely closed on weekdays. On weekends and holidays, people who have passed background checks would be able to arrive at the front gate and take a bus to specific shoreline areas.
There would be quotas for “safe and allowable numbers for being on the beach at any one time,” Campbell said.
She said the Navy does not foresee allowing people to gain access from beaches on either side of the base, without having to cross base property.
The proposed restrictions may violate the agreements under which the military gained access to the land from the Territory of Hawaii.
Deborah Ward of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said one requirement is that fishing access could only be restricted when bombing was under way or about to commence.
County Council chairman Ron Kouchi also expressed concern.
“If this is their complete solution, I don’t think they’ve heard the community,” he said.
Security issues may require access adjustment, but an outright ban on access most of the time may be inappropriate, Kouchi said.
Retired Navy Capt. Bob Mullins, a former base commander, said he fears that restrictions will damage the close ties between the base and West Kauai’s tight-knit community.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.