After 20 long years of discussion, the Board of Land and Natural Resources has passed the initial approval for the Haena Master Plan. Although its environmental impact statement still must get clearance from Governor Ige, the DLNR director hopes to be able to formally sign off on the plan soon.
Haena State Park Master Plan (Map courtesy of DLNR)
As Haena State Park receives hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, the greatest intention of the plan is to limit the visitors to the area. The plan allocates for 900 visitors a day. This number does not including permitted overnight campers, hunters with valid permits, local residents, cemetery caretakers, volunteers attending various events or cultural practitioners with cultural or ancestral ties to the area.
Other important changes include a 100-stall parking lot, new entry turnaround, a shuttle stop, and a pedestrian path that follows along the berm of the lo’i system to from the proposed parking lot to Ke’e beach.
Detailed View of the Entry Complex (Map courtesy of DLNR)
Both Haena State Park and Napali Coast State Wilderness parks will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time while the roads are cleared and repaired due to the severity of Kauai’s historic April flooding. Limited access to the Wainiha and Haena areas will remain exclusive to residents of those neighborhoods via the scheduled convoys.
“The places we love have been loved to death,” said Chipper Wichman, executive director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and longtime North Shore resident. “This plan is sorely needed. This flood has been Mother Earth’s way of crying out to us.”
Due to the impacts of Kauai’s recent flooding, the importance of the approval for the master plan has been elevated and its implementation could be facilitated faster using disaster mitigation funds. The price tag for the plan is estimated between $3-5 million and is slated to roll out over the next five years.