Pact to reopen Poamoho Trail is close
What ever happened to plans to reopen Oahu's Poamoho Trail, which has been closed for years?
Answer: The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is "inches away from consummated memorandum of agreement" with Dole Foods that will restore access to the trail and the Ewa Forest Reserve, said Curt Cottrell, manager of the state's Na Ala Hele trail and access system.
In 2002, landowner Dole Foods got fed up with dumping, junked cars and vandalism on its agricultural lands and stopped access through its land to public land used for hiking and hunting.
The Poamoho Trail runs about three miles through prime native habitat to a stunning view of Waikane Valley from atop the Koolau Mountains. It is part of the Oahu Koolau Summit Trail complex.
Dole has agreed to reopen access, with some changes to restrict access to permitted hikers and hunters, Cottrell said. Key among those changes is that the state will build a fence to enclose two miles of four-wheel-drive roadway over Dole land, which will be locked to all but Na Ala Hele permit-holders, Cottrell said.
Public access will be only on weekends and state holidays, with a maximum of 20 permits issued per day to hunters or hikers and no overnight camping.
A few details on the agreement remain to be worked out, but work on the fence should begin early next year, using volunteer labor, Cottrell said. He hopes that hunters and hikers will be using the public lands again by late spring.
Anyone with fence-building experience who wants to help put up the fence early next year can call trails manager Aaron Lowe at 973-9782 to volunteer. Information about hiking trails and permit applications can be found at www.dofaw.net.
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