DLNR to uphold
ban in Maui reserve

WAILUKU >> The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will enforce a ban on commercial kayaking in the 'Ahihi-Kina'u Natural Area Reserve in south Maui.

Deputy Director Dan Davidson said the action comes after a 7-2 decision Monday by the Natural Area Reserves System Commission against a department proposal to allow up to 20 kayaks at 'Ahihi-Kina'u. If the commission had agreed to the proposal, it would have gone to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources for a vote.

Davidson and department Director Peter Young supported the limited use, but the idea was opposed by Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa and state Rep. Joe Souki.

Limiting kayaking in the area was proposed last year after state conservation officials and biologists found that human activity was harming marine life and geologic features at 'Ahihi-Kina'u.

Davidson said yesterday that his department was informing all kayak operators about the commission's decision.

Asked if a date has been set for beginning enforcement, Davidson said, "The best solution is that they cease operation."

He said the ban was not necessarily forever, and that he planned to continue to work with all parties.

"We still think that the limited commercial kayak idea was a good one," he said.

Davidson said commercial kayak operators were not the only people affecting the reserve.

An estimated 1,000 people visit the reserve daily, including more than 70 kayakers, the department said.

There has been damage to historic sites and coral heads in the 'Ahihi-Kina'u reserve, which has 1,238 acres of land and 807 acres of marine ecosystems, the state said.

He said the department was proceeding with a plan to use Hawaii Tourism Authority money to hire two enforcement officers as conservation resource guides.

Carroll Hall, owner of Maui Kayaks, said she thought the commission made the right decision, in light of conflicts arising among kayak operators and the lack of compliance within the reserve.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --