Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022 |
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• Changes at Koke‘e
Changes at Koke‘e
The State of Hawai‘i is planning for changes to the state parks located in the Koke‘e highland area. An overview of these changes, and how a long-time residents sees them, has been the topic of a three-piece series by reporter Lester Chang that concludes in today’s issue of The Garden Island.
While change is inevitable, the state needs to carefully decide what and how they will change the Koke‘e area.
Charging an admission to parkgoers can be a reality that’s accepted by most local residents and visitors if it is handled in the correct manner. Charging an admission to the scenic lookout at the federal Kilauea Point Lighthouse was accomplished without much disturbance to what’s considered the largest colony of Hawaiian sea birds in the main islands of the Hawaiian chain. If parkgoers are made well aware that the funds they pay are going to help maintain and preserve the natural wonders of Koke‘e the system will likely be well accepted. However, if funds collected are drained off to the state’s general fund or other areas of the state government it is doubtful that the admission will be popular with local residents.
State parks across Kaua‘i and across Hawai‘i are in need of better maintenance – funds collected at a roadway gate could help this happen.
A read of the Sierra Club book “Kauai and the Park Country of Hawaii” by the late photographer-environmentalist Robert Wenkam is also advised for all concerned in these changes. The Koke‘e-Na Pali area came close to becoming a national park during the administration of John F. Kennedy, read Wenkam’s book to see why.
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