BLNR has not reviewed public testimony

POSTED: 11 January 2005 - 4:00pm HST


"Hear no Evil - See no Evil" Let's hope these two are not on the BLNR

by Juan Wilson 11 January 2005

One thing the BLNR must realize is that Kokee and Waimea Canyon are not some theme park for tourists. These lands cannot be used as a cash cow for DLNR pet projects at the expense of those that live here. Running a state park as a business leads to putting up a gate because it will make money. It also leads the DLNR away from their role as trustee and guardian of public lands.

Kokee is the crown of our island. The Waialeale-Kokee-Waimea landscape is only accessible ahupua‘a intact on Kauai. I don't think the DLNR staff responsible for the Draft Master Plan fully understand how that vibrates in the hearts of local people on Kauai. A fee, a gate and destruction of the Kokee community are "deal killers" as far as the people on Kauai are concerned.

I spoke yesterday to Ron Agar, the architect and new Kauai BLNR board member. My impression from him was that he intends to represent the interests of Kauai on the Board. He is not happy with elements of the plan and will act accordingly.

The word on the street is that there are others, in the Mayor's office and Council as well as the Planning Commission who are not happy with the DLNR plan. Let's hope they all have some influence with the BLNR.

To my surprise I learned that the Board members have not seen anything of the
testimony that was submitted by December 3rd of 2004. They will not have a chance to review the material before the briefing. The Board relies entirely on staff recommendations. It's the DLNR staff that really control the interpretation of the public's input.

For something so momentous to the future of our island this is not a good situation. Under procedural methods I would expect to pertain, the Board members could have had over a month to review the public's response to the draft master plan they will be briefed on Thursday afternoon.

This makes it all that more important for the public to be present and speak at the Thursday meeting.

The DLNR lost a lot of respect after giving control of 5000 acres of public land on the Mana Plain to the Starwar Profiteers at the PMRF. If they now turn our parkland into a walled resort community for tourists and rich people we can safely say they don't represent the people of Kauai or Hawaii.


Briefing and Meeting of the BLNR


POSTED: 11 January 2005 - 2:00pm HST

The Board initials next to the official DLNR logo

Briefing and Meeting of the BLNR
This Thursday afternoon, January 13, beginning at 5 pm in the Lihue War Memorial Convention Hall, State Parks will brief the Board on the revised Draft Master Plan for the Koke'e and Waimea Canyon State Parks.   This is the only agenda item that afternoon, and will present a more complete picture of what the consultant and State Parks see for these parks for the next twenty years.

The Board's regular bimonthly meeting will take place the next morning, Friday, beginning at 9 am in the same location.  Koke'e  is only one of thirty five agenda items, although certainly one of the most controversial.  There will be much less time available that morning for each of the agenda items, and so we recommend attending the Thursday afternoon meeting.

Our testimony on behalf of the Association will be brief.  This is due to the literally volumes of testimony that we as a group and individual leaseholders and Friends have submitted over the last two and a half years.  It's time for the Board to take action -- we know that they have heard our voices, loud and clear, and we are cautiously optimistic that they will make an intelligent and informed decision that is best for Kauai.

The revised Chapter 7 of the Master Plan, containing a narrative of the recommendations and both the revised Appendices A "Costs" and H "Evaluation of Management Options for Cabins" are posted on our web site , together with more comments from leaseholders and friends.  

In essence, the plans have not changed much, except to reduce the number of cabins taken for short term rentals -- and this portion of the plan is still wildly impractical, in our estimation.  The State has still not addressed the very real issue of taking private property for the benefit of a developer and in the process tearing a historic community asunder.

See you Thursday!
Frank O. Hay
for the Koke'e Leaseholders Association


see also:
Island Breath: Kokee Plan 3
Island Breath: Kokee Plan 2
Island Breath: Kokee Plan 1

We have designed a poster announcing the BLNR meetings with the headline "FREE NO MORE - KOKEE PARK". If you want to put this poster up in your neighborhood we have a PDF file (1.4meg) that prints up as a 8.5"x11" flyer. Click here to download.