(Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i) – The men and women charged with the responsibility of preventing, fighting and managing wildfires around the State of Hawai‘i gather on Hawai‘i Island next week for the yearly Hawai‘i Wildfire Summit organized by the Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization (HWMO). The week begins with two days of professional training from the National Fire Protection Association which focuses on “Assessing Structure Ignition Potential from Wildfire.”

(HONOLULU) – A simultaneous removal of illegal camps on DLNR Division of State Parks land and enforcement of the Stored Property Ordinance by the City and County of Honolulu Dept. of Facility Maintenance on land under the control of the Department of Parks and Recreation started at 8 a.m. today.  26 camps were removed at the Diamond Head State Monument on the mauka-side of Diamond Head Road. The city focused on the removal of­­­ camps on the makai-side of the road, but does not yet have an estimate on the amount of material removed.

(South Kona, Hawai‘i)  It’s a long and rough four-wheel-drive road to reach a black sand beach at Manukā Natural Area Reserve (NAR) on Hawai’i Island.  That doesn’t deter some 30 people – Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund staff, representatives from federal and state agencies and volunteers – from making the trip for nine consecutive Earth Days with a singular mission in mind. That’s to remove plastic debris, derelict fishing equipment and nets and the typical trash produced by all of us.

LIHU‘E, KAUA‘I --  The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife on Kaua‘i will be opening Nounou Forest Reserve for a trial archery animal control of feral pigs. 

(LIHUE) – Two major State Parks on Kaua‘i will remain closed indefinitely. Hāʻena State Park and the adjacent Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park (including the Kalalau Trail) on Kauai are closed due to flood damage affecting both parks. Kuhio Highway, the only way in and out of both parks has been closed by multiple landslides since record-breaking rains pounded the north shore of Kaua‘I last weekend. Closures will likely be for an extended period, while damage assessments and repairs are completed.

(HONOLULU) – Had it been something other than a sharp fishing knife perhaps the video would have been endearing?  A Hawaiian monk seal pup named Manu‘iwa recently weaned from its mother on a Hawai‘i Island beach.  Staff from Ke Kai Ola, a hospital operated by The Marine Mammal Center at Kailua-Kona and officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) have been monitoring the pup’s health and growth. 

(HONOLULU) – An estimated 25 people elected to be airlifted out of the Kalalau area of the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park yesterday.  They’d been stranded there since last weekend’s record-breaking rain storm that cut off road access from the trail head back to Hanalei and other Kaua‘i locales. A helicopter pilot who participated in the evacuation operation reports that at least two people decided to stay behind.  Initial reports indicate that the 11-mile-long Kalalau Trail did not experience significant damage, but that can’t be confirmed until a DLNR Division of State Parks maintenance team visits the trail sometime in the next week. It’s not known at this time whether others decided to shelter in place at the designated camping area at Hanakoa or at Hanakapai‘ai at the two mile point, where people can travel without a state permit.

(Volcano, Hawai‘i) –The eleven young ‘Alalā living in the Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve on the Island of Hawai‘i continue to thrive, showing increased natural behaviors, foraging on native plants, and even challenging the occasional ‘Io, or Hawaiian Hawk.  Conservationists are cautiously optimistic about the birds’ continued success in native habitat and are working together with researchers at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo to analyze vocalizations of these rare birds.  Foraging and other social behaviors are also being studied to determine if historically seen activities are increasing now that the group has access to the surroundings in which they evolved.

(KAHULUI, MAUI) – The ‘Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Reserve (NAR) on Maui’s south shore will remain closed at least until Monday, April 23, 2018 due to the continued presence of sharks in the popular snorkeling destination.  The NAR has been closed for two weeks, after numerous tiger sharks were spotted, apparently coming close to shore to follow pupping reef sharks.

(LIHUE) – The record-breaking rain storm on Kaua‘i last weekend has resulted in the DLNR Division of State Parks closing the following Garden Island parks:  Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, Ha’ena State Park, Polihale State Park and portions of Wailua River State Park.  Currently there are an estimated 30 campers stranded in the Kalalau section of the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park.  Efforts are underway to contact people who have camping permits to check on their status or to determine whether they made it out of the park safely?