Thursday, June 20, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, June 9, 2023
DLNR: Haena State Park to be Model for State
By News Release @ 12:59 PM :: 2067 Views :: Kauai County, Tourism

PLAYBOOK FOR COMMUNITY-LED MANAGEMENT OF HAWAI‘I STATE PARKS UNVEILED 

News Release from DLNR, June 8, 2023

(HĀ‘ENA STATE PARK, KAUA‘I) – Today, following the signing of a bill by Governor Josh Green, M.D., facilitating the continued community-based management of this 65-acre state park, a case study on how the community worked together with government and the visitor industry to manage a destination hotspot was unveiled. 

“The Transformation of Hā‘ena State Park,” is a comprehensive playbook that details how this once overcrowded, overtaxed, and over-loved park – literally at the end of the road on Kaua‘i’s north shore, has experienced a complete makeover.

This has resulted in controls on the numbers of visitors each day, the transportation of most park visitors by shuttle from Hanalei leading to fewer traffic and parking issues and opened-up access for Hawai‘i residents. The desired and achieved end result has made Hā‘ena and the adjoining Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park cleaner, better-managed, safer, and much more enjoyable to visit. 

DLNR Division of State Parks (DSP) Assistant Administrator Alan Carpenter, other state officials, and community members worked for several years on the Hā‘ena State Park Master Plan Implementation Case Study Committee. It produced the 63-page playbook, which is intended to guide other communities being pressured by over-visitation at state park hotspots nearby. 

Carpenter said, “The Hā‘ena experience is an outstanding example of regenerative tourism and a model for destination management. The reimagining of this park was accelerated by serious flooding in 2018, which forced DSP to close Hā‘ena for more than a year. This pause provided the time to really drill down and figure out what is the best way to protect and preserve the natural and cultural features of the area, while still allowing controlled visitation.” 

The guidebook goes into great detail about: 

The Place
The Problems/Solutions
Foundation for Success
Lessons Learned
Our Work Ahead

Chipper Wichman, a founding board member of Hui Maka‘āinana o Makana, the community group at the forefront of Hā‘ena’s transformation, wrote, “Don’t give up – be prepared for a long journey. There are no quick fixes to a problem that has been decades in the making. This is an ideal time to become active and get involved as the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Destination Management Action Plans are all in line with helping communities begin to find solutions. Keep in mind that the challenges and problems you are facing are the same other communities are facing across the state. Because of this we have a collective voice that can help to direct change much more than just one small community can. Cultivate deep and lasting relationships with your
local legislators and state and county agencies.” 

That’s exactly what happened with the case study committee, which included State Representative Nadine Nakamura, who represents Kaua‘i’s north shore. She writes about the outcomes that make her the proudest. “I’m most proud of the fact that local residents are returning to enjoy Hā‘ena State Park. It’s now a beautiful, peaceful experience to visit. This project is employing 35 staff members, 21 of whom live on the north shore, who work as parking attendants, shuttle drivers, park rangers, laborers, and administrators. This is community-based economic development at its finest. It’s also a model for regenerative tourism, one that preserves our sacred cultural and natural resources for future generations.” 

Nakamura’s advice for other “hotspot” communities, “As you can see from this Hā‘ena State Park case study, this was not an easy journey to undertake. Sometimes I felt we were going around in circles brainstorming solutions. But keep your eye on your strategic goals and your vision.” 

DSP Administrator Curt Cottrell said in conclusion, “Regardless of great ideas and written pages, this works because of the trust and mutual respect forged between government and community through years of interaction. While it certainly did not happen overnight, we believe the grueling effort put into this park will compress the timeframe to create similar solutions elsewhere.”

# # # 

RESOURCES (All images and video courtesy: DLNR) 

COVERAGE

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii