Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016

Ka`u rancher Michelle Galimba asked U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to support preservation of the Ka`u Coast.
See more below. Photo by Julia Neal
A HIGH-SURF WARNING continues through tomorrow afternoon as Hurricane Lester passes north of Hawai`i Island. The National Weather Service expects warning-level surf along all exposed east-facing shores to continue through tonight before quickly trending down on Sunday.
      Expect ocean water surging and sweeping across beaches, creating potential for impacts to coastal properties and infrastructure, including roadways. Powerful longshore and rip currents will be present at most beaches. Large breaking waves and strong currents may impact harbor entrances and channels, causing challenging boat handling.
Hurricane Lester is passing Hawai`i Island to the north.
Map from NOAA
      Large breaking surf, significant shorebreak and dangerous currents make entering the water very hazardous. Anyone entering the water could face significant injury or death, NWS said.
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HAWAI`I DEPARTMENT OF LAND & Natural Resources is responding to changing forecasts for Hurricane Lester.
      All forest reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, natural area reserves and Na Ala Hele hiking trails are re-opened. Department of Forestry & Wildlife campgrounds will remain closed through the weekend.
      All state parks will remain open for Labor Day weekend, unless any changes in storm behavior indicate a need for closure
      Camping and overnight lodging facilities are now re-opened.
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Visitors drive down reopened Chain of Craters Road. NPS Photo
MOST AREAS PREVIOUSLY CLOSED within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park due to Hurricane Lester are now open.
      Park rangers opened Chain of Craters Road, all backcountry campsites and trails, the coastal lava viewing area and Mauna Loa Road under sunny skies Friday afternoon, much to the delight of visitors eager to explore the park during the long Labor Day weekend.
      “We urge all park visitors to maintain a safe distance from the shoreline, whether viewing lava at the Kamokuna ocean entry, hiking the Puna Coast Trail or camping at any of the coastal campsites,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “We are anticipating surf up to 25 feet tonight and possibly through the weekend.”
      The Kahuku Unit is open today and tomorrow, with no cancellations to any guided hikes or programs.
      Backcountry campers are reminded that all overnight stays require a backcountry permit. Permits can be obtained up to 24 hours in advance from the backcountry office, located at the Visitor Emergency Operations Center, open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard at Ka`u Coffee Mill.
Photo by Ron Johnson
KA`U RANCHER MICHELLE GALIMBA asked U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to support preservation of the Ka`u Coast during the congresswoman’s visit to Ka`u this week.
      “Some people have said that health of the marine environment here is comparable to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands,” Galimba said. President Barack Obama recently expanded Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument there, which is home to more than 7,000 species.
      “The fact that we’re so remote and undeveloped is really a huge asset,” Galimba said. “What’s really important to me is preserving the coastline here. We’ve done a lot, but there’s still a lot more to do. There are still several parcels along that coast that need to get protected.”
      Galimba mentioned efforts underway by Ala Kahakai Trail and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The National Park Service also is working to extend its holdings along the Ka`u Coast.
      Gabbard said she would “absolutely” support such efforts. “I am a supporter of making sure we preserve our natural resources, our home, everything that is special to us.” she said.
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INTERNATIONAL UNION for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress continues on O`ahu. The congress is a special event attended by heads of state, policymakers and environmentalists from around the world.
U.S. Brian Schatz gave the keynote address
at the World Conservation Congress.
      “I’m very proud that our state was chosen to host the event this year, and I was honored to be invited to give the keynote address,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.
      “We live in a time of massive ecological disruption, one that cannot be accurately described without sounding downright apocalyptic,” Schatz said in his speech. “But over the last few years, there is growing reason for optimism. Global political will continues to grow. It’s not yet enough but for the first time, it looks like many of the world’s leaders get it. Leaders responsible for infrastructure, for public health, for safety and for prosperity see with their own eyes that economic progress relies on environmental stewardship. …
      “The people who care about birds and butterflies and the people who care about the bottom line are finally in agreement – it just makes sense to take care of the earth. …
      “Progress is being made, and I’m optimistic that this is only the beginning.”
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STATE AGENCIES ARE PARTNERING to help spread conservation messages.
      As the Department of Land and Natural Resources was exploring ways to reach more visitors and kama`aina with information about conserving and protecting natural and cultural resources, Hawai`i Tourism Authority was engaged in developing a five-year strategic plan. “Coincidentally, the stars were in alignment, and what we were thinking turned out to be a perfect fit with HTA’s strategic plan,” said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case.
HTA President & CEO George Szigeti
Photo from HTA
      DLNR is charged with management and administration of state parks, historical sites, forests, forest reserves, aquatic life, wildlife, wildlife sanctuaries, game management areas, public hunting areas and natural area reserves. HTA is responsible for strategically managing the state’s marketing initiatives to support tourism, the state’s largest industry.
      HTA President & CEO George D. Szigeti said, “Instrumental to our strategic plan is supporting efforts to protect our environment and perpetuate it for generations to come. Travelers come here from around the world to explore the natural beauty of our islands, from the ocean to the mountains. HTA’s vision for preserving the quality of Hawai`i’s environment goes hand-in-hand with the sustainability programs DLNR oversees every day statewide.”
      HTA’s strategic plan reflects the adoption of a goal to “improve the integrity of the destination,” achieved through an objective of being “a better steward of the destination and to increase support for programs that manage, improve and protect Hawai`i’s natural environment and areas frequented by visitors.
      In a programmatic agreement signed between the agencies in June, HTA agreed to provide funding for certain DLNR public communications efforts. In this first year of the agreement, that funding has secured broadcast air time for three DLNR & YOU television specials: Renegades, Risks & Rewards of the Napali Coast; Kaua`i’s Endangered Sea Birds; and Hawai`i’s Endangered Forest Birds. The first special aired on Hawai`i station KFVE-TV (K5) in April and June. The second program on endangered sea birds is being broadcast during the IUCN World Conservation Congress, on K5, tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. and Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. The third documentary is currently in production and scheduled to air later this year.
DLNR Chair Suzanne Case
Photo by John DeMello
      Additionally, HTA is funding the design, development and placement of 25 large outdoor signs promoting conservation messages at strategic locations. The signs will include a map, which depicts key natural and cultural resources, along with a series of messages about what visitors and local people alike can do to help protect resources. A sign vendor has been selected, and work on the signs will begin this fall.
      The DLNR & YOU brand, according to Case, “is our effort to include everyone in the kuleana (responsibility) of helping really mālama (to care) for our limited and precious natural and cultural resources. When you think about the reasons so many people come to Hawai`i to experience and share those things that make this place one of the planet’s most diverse ecological and cultural landscapes, it really takes all of us.”
      HTA funding to DLNR in 2016 amounts to $53,600. Szigeti noted, “We are proud to do our part in educating visitors and reinforcing to residents the significance of preserving Hawai`i’s natural and cultural resources. The DLNR & YOU initiatives are vital to reminding everyone that the quality of life we cherish requires a continual commitment to support conservation and protect the ecosystems that makes Hawai`i such a treasured destination for travelers worldwide.”
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see Facebook. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

LEARN ABOUT THE FORMATION and various uses of Pu`u o Lokuana over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka`u. Kahuku Unit of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park’s free program takes place tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


Click on document to enlarge.

See kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.html
and kaucalendar.com/TheDirectory2016.pdf.

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