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Editorial: Mo`omomi Needs All of Us

By Todd Yamashita, Molokai Dispatch Publisher

I can remember the days when my family got the key to visit Mo`omomi. Driving down the bumpy, dusty road watching the ocean shimmer in the distance, my anticipation would grow as we neared the shoreline. Although I was just a kid, I remember feeling really lucky. It was a privilege to be there and I was grateful.

Since then, Mo`omomi has seen many changes – the latest being the reintroduction of a gate which has made many upset. Gates can be controversial because they are meant to keep people out. But if you look deeper, past the gate, this is really an issue of conservation.

By our Molokai values, if you have access to the land and shoreline, you also have kuleana, or the duty to do what is right. The relationship with the `aina and kai is that of responsibility – we are stewards caring for something that has cared for us for many generations.

Lately, we have not kept our kuleana with Mo`omomi, as evidenced by the vandalism and misuse of the area. Some may point out that it is only an irresponsible few who have ruined things for many. Regardless, the outcome affects everyone and finding a solution will take the minds and hands of more than a few.

Whether a gate is the answer or not, let’s focus on what we can all agree upon – we love Mo`omomi and we want her to retain her natural spirit long after we pass. Conservation, malama `aina, whatever you choose to call it –we can agree that it is we who are responsible for our environment.

The Molokai Dispatch applauds the efforts of individuals who are working towards Mo`omomi’s stewardship. Gate or not, it’s our hope that Mo`omomi and the magic of her coast will inspire the common ground necessary in order to strike a balance between man and nature.