Letter for Friday, August 14, 2020

Bridge over Hanakapi‘ai Stream may be bad idea

Regarding the bridge being built over Hanakapi‘ai Stream. Many of our resources and pristine areas are subject to overuse and abuse. I’ve found litter in remote areas deep in the forests where only hunters go, including beer bottles. DLNR (state Department of Land and Natural Resources) has continuously removed tons of trash, and our rescue resources have been placed in danger countless of times to extract people in danger or, even worse, to recover the bodies of those who fell victim to the dangers of nature.

I believe that building the bridge will only encourage people to travel deeper into the area. The impact of the immediate area of the bridge may be one problems of it being built, but I personally feel giving people easier access will also create more critical impact further inland, too.

In my worthless opinion, the problem DLNR and our rescue personnel are dealing with now will only be be further exacerbated.

Daily access to the area should be limited and by permit only so there is some control over the area. Visitors wanting access should pay a fee for access, which can go to maintaining or controlling the entry point.

The state needs to close access during impending inclement weather, and if resources don’t allow them to monitor the area then I think that they should work together with a volunteer hui to monitor and control access with KPD or state enforcement (DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement) making their rounds for support.

This is just my opinion, of course, but there needs to be more thought and public input put into processes that the government plans. They always seem to try to solve things without regards to negative impacts that may be attributed to their decisions.

Dom Acain, Kekaha

6 Comments
  1. kauaiboy August 14, 2020 6:03 am Reply

    Yep, Dom. You are right.

    Your opinion is worthless. It also lacks merit.

    Saying we should not build a bridge to save lives of those who are willing to ford the Hanakapi’ai Stream is like saying we should not support announcements from the Mayor about Covid19. Get real. Perhaps you could form a local group willing to pick up trash from inconsiderate hunters and their ilk…


  2. dawg2000 August 14, 2020 7:06 am Reply

    No one is going to hike that 2 miles in and not cross the stream to check out the beach! That stream crossing does not discourage anyone, even when it should. The long rugged hike discourages people from going deeper, not one measly stream crossing. Building the bridge will save lives and make less work for rescuers. I think its a no-brainer.


  3. Joe Maka August 14, 2020 8:14 am Reply

    You nailed it Dom. Good point bringing this important issue to light and revealing that the real problem is locals. For years we have blamed visitors, but now the truth has come out. The quotes in your letter are pure gold…

    You have “found litter in remote areas deep in the forests where only hunters go, including beer bottles.” Since only hunters go to these places, HUNTERS left the trash.

    “And our rescue resources have been placed in danger countless of times to extract people in danger or, even worse, to recover the bodies of those who fell victim to the dangers of nature.” Isn’t this exactly why a bridge is needed? Many of the rescues and deaths are from people stuck on the Kalalau side of Hanakapiai stream.

    But the best one is when you admit that you have a “worthless opinion.” Yes, your opinion is worthless. You suggest hiring more people for an already bloated DLNR. Around the world and for centuries, people have used bridges to safely cross rivers. In wild and beautiful places. It makes total sense to have a bride over Hanakapiai stream.

    Thanks for the good laugh and example of how not to argue an opinion.


  4. Rev Dr Malama August 14, 2020 10:12 am Reply

    The bridge in Hanakapiai has been decades in the making!!!
    Public input both formally and randomly was considered AFTER
    many lives were lost from drowning and flashfooding….. people who were trapped on the Westside of the stream were often injured or otherwise endangered and to many rescues could have been avoided by a well designed bridge!
    The argument that more people and trash will happen is ridiculous and any problems that people have about the bridge should be TAKEN to the leadership of the Hawai’ian Kingdom government…. who is ultimately RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STATE OF HAWAI’I!!!
    Mahalo and PRAYERS FOR peace on earth!!!


    1. Imuakauai August 15, 2020 6:34 am Reply

      TGI says via DLNR “to Enhance the Visitor EXperience” All for Dems and none for tenant locals! Played Again, ALL day, every way, Blame pointy finger, Barnard, mel, kollar and cok retroactive circus clowns and evil Intent! wea’s FBI/DEA/RICO?


  5. Kauaidoug August 14, 2020 12:01 pm Reply

    Before anyone gets to the trailhead they have a permit for parking one day or someone has dropped them off. I have dropped people off at the kalalau trailhead and the ignorance some of these tourist/hikers have of the conditions they could face was scary. No idea that the sun could be shining on the trail and dumping up top. Sometimes I just warn and shake my head. I don’t know how short of putting ANOTHER hire at the trailhead you can regulate this. People come from all over the world so there desire is strong but no one stops to consider the risk rescuers might take to rescue them! What about rigging some sort of zipline that can be used to ford the stream in emergencies and high rain. What about when a hiker gets the permit online it is also accompanied by a waiver they sign that sights possible dangers AND THEY ARE LIABLE FOR RESCUE COSTS INCURRED IN THEIR INSTANCE. That would be big and bold as I have. I think this should be done to every visitor entering the state along with the welcome to Hawaii but we’re not paying for your bonehead adventures of climbing down to the Wailua falls or Queen’s Bath for instance. We want visitors to enjoy themselves but don’t risk our sons and daughters lives while you are doing it! NOW, during our pandemic break, is the time to take advantage of a catastrophe. The mayor has made brave decisions but we need to make tourism work for us and now is the time.


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