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STEPS TO TAKE TO OPENING  THE AHIHI KINAU NATURAL AREA RESERVE
  1. Remove rock barriers along the road through the reserve.  These rock barriers reduce the width of the road and create hazards for motorist. Issue is compounded when emergency vehicles need to access the area. This action should be started immediately!
  2. Reestablish roadside parking and pull-offs along the where ever possible. This will help alleviate the conditions described above for emergency vehicles. It will also provide a place where people can pull off and take pictures without impeding traffic flow. It will also facilitate accessing the reserve itself when the closure is lifted. (Whether closure is lifted or not this is a very important safety issue and should be implemented at once.)
  3. End the closure of the reserve immediately! As noted there is no demonstrated reason for the reserve to be closed at any time. The idea that "human trampling" is the primary causal factor or even a contributing factor to the general state of the flaura and fauna of the reserve is ludicrous.
  4. Change the hours of operation of the reserve to open 24/7.  There is no known reason for closure at any time.
  5. Remove the rocks blocking the various trail heads and also the ones placed within the trail internal in the reserve. (Initially the rocks can be removed from the trail proper and just stacked to one side. In areas close to the road these rocks should be removed and the original contour of the area reestablished.)
  6. Restore internal trail markings obliterated by spray paint or removed since 2004. ( I would suggest using the guide book Maui Revealed  (2004 edition) as reference point for restoring historical and traditional access marking used to find things in the reserve.
  7. Beach and ocean access along the ocean face of the reserve needs to brought into compliance with state law. Those area in front of private property within or adjacent to the reserve need attention as well. State law mandates access in these areas and it would add to the continuity and integrity of the preserves hiking trails layout.
  8. Regulations recently enacted need to be repealed as soon as possible. (Could be done in 2011 legislative session) In the meantime the regulations should not be enforced.
  9. The concept of a Marine Reserve needs to be revisited. Marine fisheries are a sustainable resource and should be managed accordingly. A total prohibition on fishing or harvesting is inconsistent with accepted conservation practices. The prohibition of watercraft within the reserve is contrary to existing marine law and needs to be examined.
  10. Brush and other debris placed in and around archaeological features needs to be removed.
  11. Cave openings blocked with concrete or other materials need to be restored to their pre closure conditions.
  12. The desecration of the Burial cave must cease. It needs to be restored to its pre 1994 condition at the very least. This needs to be done or at least begun immediately.
  13. The main parking area needs to be reconfigure to accommodate additional cars. The lava surface needs to be smoothed to eliminate the shredding of tires on sharp rock protrusions. People having their cars damaged need to be advised of their rights to file a claim against the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the damage.


It is a shame that so much effort was spent on destroying the work in the reserve done since its inception in 1973. Most of the suggestions above involve getting back to the status in 2004. I will be offering suggestions on steps that should be taken to deal with the continueing issues of invasive species and feral animals as time permits.

Dr. George R. Harker
December 4, 2010






       



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