The Lihu‘e-Koloa Forest Reserve was granted $55,000 in state funds Wednesday to create two bridges crossing Keahua Stream and the North Fork of Wailua River for vehicular and pedestrian use.
The funds were part of a $220,000 grant for improvements to facilities, forest reserves and other conservation areas across the state managed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
The existing stream crossings at the Lihu‘e-Koloa Forest Reserve pose hazards to area visitors. Design is scheduled to begin in November 2008 and conclude in June 2009. Construction will be scheduled upon the authorization of funding.
The announcement came as Hawai‘i observed Conservation Week, which was proclaimed by Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona to promote effective, long-term management of the state’s natural resources.
“As stewards of Hawai‘i’s natural resources, we have a responsibility to preserve special parts of our islands, but also to make improvements that will ensure the safety of recreational users,” Lingle said. “These projects will help to accomplish these goals statewide.”
Other projects that received funding include Kipuka 21 on the Big Island and ‘Ahihi-Kina‘u Natural Area Reserve on Maui.
Kipuka will use $115,000 to provide composting toilet facilities for area visitors. On Maui, $50,000 in improvements will be made to the Maonakala area within the reserve, which currently has an unimproved parking area and portable toilets.
To increase protection of the reserve’s fragile resources, DLNR will implemented a two-year area restriction closing off access to the majority of the Maui reserve effective Friday.