WAIKAPUNA RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN materials are online for folks who want to help determine the future stewardship for the 2,317 acres in the ahupua'a of Kahilipalinui and Kalihipali'iki. The planning resources include meeting notes, a slideshow and recording of an online gathering that was held Jan. 26 to explain the process of developing a Resource Management Plan and to receive public input.
The lands include a section of the Kaʻū Coast toward South Point from Honu'apo, makai of Nāʻālehu. The land was recently preserved with county, state and private donations through a purchase that puts it under the ownership of Ala Kahakai Trail Association with a conservation easement owned by Hawai'i County that protects it from development. The process of acquiring the land was facilitated by The Trust for Public Land.
Gabrielle Sham, representing Townscape, a small community and environmental planning firm, was hired to help develop the Management Plan, noting some of the history of Waikapuna. She said that "Waikapuna has been subject to the threat of development, especially after the closure of the plantation. There were proposed plans for a spaceport in this area in the late 1980s. Several years later, there were proposed plans for a commuter airport facility. The most recent proposed development consisted of a subdivision development with 22 lots."
|How open and closed should the access be to Waikapuna?|
This is one of the many subjects being studied in the
process of creating its Resource Management Plan.
Photo form ATA
Elements to be addressed by the management plan include: the wahi pana and cultural landscape: marine and coastal resources; native and endangered bird species habitat; native and endangered plant species; ranching; and managed community access.
The Townscape representative said areas of concern shared by stakeholders include: Community access; fire risk; damage to cultural and. historic sites; marine debris and trash; invasive plant and animal species; climate change and safety.
The online presentation documents many comments, questions and concerns from the community, including: "There is a lot of talk and worry about if this place is for subsistence gathering...why is there a locked gate? But I think that the gate is good because it protects it. South Point is an example of a place that has been desecrated. Controlled access would keep the integrity and beauty of the place."
|Waikapuna covers two ahupua'a and is subject of a community|
driven creation of a Resource Management Plan.
Map from Townscape
Another commenter recommended preference for local people to access during the week. "My understanding is only weekends are allowed for camping. People who live in Nāʻālehu, Waiohinu and Pāhala deserve some special preference. Especially those who are subsistence gatherers. Not sure how to do that."
Another said, "A lot of these people at these meetings are not talkers. I'm most worried about the young men who are listening and hearing that they cannot go hunt or fish. When you take away hunting and fishing from our young people; that's how they save money and feed their families and share with other families."
Watch a YouTube recording of the meeting at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xhcq-tS3N0
Find links for commenting and read many more of the comments from the participants at www.records.hawaiicounty.gov/weblink/1/edoc/114396/Waikapuna%20-%20Community%20Meeting%20Notes%20-%20Townscape%20Draft%20(2022-01-26).pdf.
See a slideshow with maps and other planning tools at http://records.hawaiicounty.gov/weblink/1/edoc/114397/Waikapuna%20RMP_Community%20Mtg%201_Townscape%20Slideshow%20(2022-01-26).pdf
|Jose and Berta Miranda took first for the Kaʻū region|
in the HCA cupping contest last year. Registration
is open for 2022. Photo from Miranda's Farm
Kaʻū Coffee growers listed as members on the HCA website are: Kaʻū Coffee Mill, Kaʻū Mountain Farm, Island Custom Coffees, Rusty's Hawaiian Coffee snd Waiohinu Farms.
VALENTINE CARDS at Nāʻālehu Community Center, Monday, Feb. 14, 4 - 5 p.m. Open to ages 8 through 12 years old. Register for free from Feb. 3 - 7. For more information, contact Recreation Director, Richard Karasuda at (808) 939-2510.
PRESIDENT’S DAY EAGLE CRAFT at Kaʻū District Gym & Pāhala Community Center. Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2:30 - 4 p.m. Open to grades K to 6. Register for free from Feb. 10 to 15. For more information and to register, contact Recreation Director, Nona Makuakane at (808) 928-3102.