Halawa Valley Clean-Up
By Lavinia Currier, Pu`u O Hoku Ranch
I wish to make public to the people of Molokai the intentions of Pu`u O Hoku Ranch in regards to the camping in Halawa Valley. Historically, the ranch has welcomed campers in the summer season on the far side of Kama`alaea Bay for short periods, hoping that by limiting the length of any family’s stay there will be room for all interested families to enjoy the beauty and serenity of Halawa. Over time, certain campers extended their stay to the entire summer, and we at Pu`u O Hoku received many complaints about these long-term campers dominating the beach area. Long-term campers make it difficult for others to feel comfortable to picnic and or to find places where they can camp with their children.
Several years ago, we met with the longer term campers as a group and it was agreed to limit the time of camping within specific guidelines. This agreement was not honored the following summer by some of the campers and therefore we had to remove camps.
Now more years have gone by and this fall we received a notice from the County of Maui regarding the illegality of the semi-permanent camps and their latrines, which violate county rules. Pu`u O Hoku was notified that we would receive fines for those structures on Ranch land. In addition, we are receiving renewed requests from the community to “do something about the campers.”
Two weeks ago the landowners of Halawa Valley met and they agreed that the structures should be removed and the beach area cleaned up for all families to enjoy. These landowners were also concerned that the water use by the campers in increasing numbers for longer periods of time had begun to impact their water levels, essential for their farms and lo`i.
We contacted the campers with structures still standing in October and shared with them the letters we had received and asked that they voluntarily remove their structures by the end of the month; if they do not, we will be obliged to remove them and donate the materials.
Following the removal, we will do some cleaning in the valley, and invite the community to participate in a clean up with Halawa residents, campers and landowners including a potluck.
Our objective is to return Kama`alaea Bay in Halawa to once again be the protected and safe place for everyone’s children and grandchildren to play. Mahalo for your understanding.