Scarred sand dunes from off-roading vehicles, abandoned tires and washed-up fishing nets — these are some of the forces contributing to the biological and cultural degradation of Kaena Point.

A vote on recommendations to mitigate the damage is scheduled for Wednesday night at the Waialua Community Association building in Haleiwa.

The recommendations, compiled by the Kaena Point Advisory Group, were already approved last year by the Mokuleia Community Association and will be presented before the Board of Land and Natural Resources on July 22.

Civil Beat reported on the issue last month, noting that while Hawaii law pertaining to use of state lands prohibited activities contributing to the destruction, the state lacked the resources to adequately enforce the laws. Prohibited activities include off-roading in certain areas, open ground fires and alcohol use.

So far, the recommendations don’t appear to call for more enforcement officers, but rather try to solve the problem through increasing public awareness.

Most of the recommendations aim to inform visitors of restrictions through added signs and creating barriers with boulders, pilings and fencing to deter people from encroaching on sand dunes and Leina A Ka Uhane [pdf] an important Native Hawaiian cultural site.

The recommendations also seek to clarify the area where off-roading vehicles can travel and suggest the use of barriers to deter vehicles from traveling outside of designated zones.

A permit entry system is also being proposed in which vehicles must be registered and drivers must acknowledge receipt and understanding of the Kaena Point State Park Reserve Administration Rules. Vehicle operators would be provided with the combination to a lock allowing them access to the road.

Here’s the full list of recommendations from Friends of Kaena:

  1. The Department of Land and Natural Resources through its assigned Division’s, take appropriate action to protect the Leina A Ka Uhane. Protections should include Signage as to the cultural importance of the site, including specific language instructing visitors not to climb on top of it and to refrain from any other actions that could cause damage to it. We encourage DLNR and Office of Hawaiian Affairs to collaborate on funding, wording, and installation of the signage. (This recommendation was approved unanimously by KPAG)

  2. DLNR through its assigned Division’s take appropriate actions to protect the sand dune ecosystems. Protections should consider the use of boulders, pilings, fencing, and any other reasonable manner to a physical barrier to vehicles. (This recommendation was approved unanimously by KPAG)

  3. DLNR through its assigned Division’s, take appropriate actions to protect areas within the Kaena Point State Park Reserve from continuing degradation and soil erosion caused by irresponsible vehicular access. The Manini Gulch area should be a priority site. Protection should consider the use of boulders, pilings, fencing, and any other reasonable manner to provide a physical barrier to the areas. Once barriers are in place additional measures should be implemented to reduce erosion. (This recommendation had consensus but fishermen expressed concern about vehicular access to fishing spots)

  4. The DLNR through its assigned Division’s, take appropriate steps to designate an appropriate road in the Kaena Point State Park Reserve. This would provide clarity to the existing Administrative Rule governing where vehicles should be operated. There are two options put forth for consideration. A majority position that only the upper road be designated, and a minority position that the upper road with a network of extensions to the ocean be designated. Once a road is designated the demarcation of the road could include the use of boulders, pilings, fencing, signage, and any other reasonable manner to provide guidance to vehicle operators as to where they should be operating. Signage and maps of the location of the designated road should be made available to Kaena Point State Park Reserve users. (The upper road recommendation will minimize the impacts of vehicle use. The upper road and network recommendation was favored by fishermen who desired continued vehicular access close to the ocean.)

  5. The DLNR thorugh its assigned Division’s, secure the gate at the end of the paved road with a combination lock. Create an entry permit system, providing permittee’s with access to the combination, which would be changed at a frequency determined by the Division. The access permit should have a vehicle registration component allowing for cross referencing the vehicle with the permittee. Other suggested conditions of the permit should include the acknowledgement of receipt and understanding of the Kaena Point State Park Reserve Administrative Rules, and a provision to revoke the permit for any violation of the rules. The Division should also consider any other reasonable conditions to the permit that allow for safe efficient management of the Reserve. (This recommendation was supported by the majority of the group with the exception of the fishermen.)

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