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Increased Protection of Papohaku Dunes

DLNR News Release
The Papohaku Dune System in west Molokai has been identified as an important natural and cultural resource of the State of Hawaii. The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) will hold a public hearing on Molokai on May 10 regarding a proposed subzone amendment to increase the level of protection for the dune system.

The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 10 at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center.

OCCL is proposing to change the state land use conservation district subzone of tax map key (TMK): (2) 5-1-006:156 at Papohaku Beach, Kaluakoi, from the general subzone to the protective subzone.
Hawaii’s dune systems harbor important native plant and animal species and serve as storm buffers from normal seasonal high waves and episodic high tide events. The proposed subzone amendment was a recommendation that formed out of the Papohaku Dunes Cultural and Natural Resource Preservation Plan, which suggests that the current subzone designation is insufficient to provide for the effective preservation of the dune system and its culturally significant shrines, burial sites, fragile ecosystem and unique geomorphology.

The protective subzone designation is recommended as it provides the highest preservation potential for sensitive natural ecosystems that contain valuable historic, archeological and natural resource features such as the Papohaku Dunes. This designation of the Papohaku Dune area is consistent with the objective of the Conservation District Protective Subzone, which is “to protect valuable natural and cultural resources in designated areas such as restricted watersheds, marine, plant, and wildlife sanctuaries, significant historic, archeological, geological, and volcanological features and sites, and other designated uses.”

The proposed amendment to Hawaii Administrative Rule Chapter 13-5 may be found online at the OCCL’s website at hawaii.gov/dlnr/occl.  Persons unable to attend the hearing may send written testimony no later than May 31 to Alex.J.Roy@hawaii.gov  or by mail to Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands at P.O. Box 621 Honolulu, HI 96809. For more information, call (808) 587-0316.


3 Responses to “Increased Protection of Papohaku Dunes”

  1. fh says:

    Have the Molokai Dispatch Staff bothered to go to the web site and try to find the text of the proposed document? Like looking for a particular grain of sand on the beach…I lost patience trying to find it. Further, the announcement of the meeting at Mitchell Paole came out on Friday May 3, for a meeting to be held the following Friday…pretty slick on DLNR’s part to try to avoid time to organize a response to this. That’s five working days. It may or may not be good law but the secretive approach to getting enactment of something that has been languishing on DLNR’s plate since 2008 is pretty suspicious. What are they trying to pull?

  2. RTmolokai1 says:

    Aloha FH and All Others,

    I understand there can be some apprehension about this -that some might feel DLNR is trying to pull a fast one on us. Please let me share with you some info that I think will help put you at ease.

    The beaches at Papohaku, Kawakiu and Hale O Lono are being abused by some people who live on Molokai. These people are using the beaches as their own race track.they’re bring out their trucks and having races in the sand. They’re purposely getting their trucks stuck in places so that they can ‘spin out’ and use the big tires to pull the truck out of the sand. This is all in good spirit and fun – however when they do this, they destroy the beach. They dig up turtle nests, cause erosion, harm wildlife and ruin the beach for anyone who happens to be relaxing there at the time.

    Imagine having a picnic when you see 2 big 4×4 trucks racing toward you – hoping they see you and stop in time? This has happened to us many times on Papohaku and Kawakiu -especially Kawakiu because it is easier for these guys to hide their activities out there.

    Turtles, birds, monk seals, families. we all use the beach for our own reasons and we avoid at all cost doing any damage. In 15 minutes these trucks can cause damage to a beach that takes years for Mother Nature to repair.

    The knuckleheads who do this have been so brazen to even post videos of themselves on YouTube. Looks like fun until you realize really recognize where they are and the damage they cause.

    I have called DLNR, the Molokai Police, the Nature Conservancy, Maui County… everyone I can think of to ask for help and protection of the beaches. I even wrote a letter to Danny mateo but he never responded.

    What the DLNR is doing now is what was needed long ago ; stepping up the protection and enforcement of our precious beaches. This is good news and we should all be in support of this! They are not relaxing the rules or inviting military landing craft. they’re making it more difficult for law breakers to hurt our beaches and they’re making the penalties more harsh for people who disrespect our aina.

    I will be at the meetings in Support of this work and I hope you will be there, too.

    This is a good thing for Molokai, our wildlife and our weekend picnics!


  3. RTmolokai1 says:

    Dune destruction at Kawakiu

    It would be completely hypocritical for the people in this video to hold up signs that say “Malama the Aina”.

    DLNR, where are you when we need you??


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