News Releases

Five young ‘alalā, two females and three males, were released into Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve (NAR) on the Island of Hawai‘i on Wednesday, October 11th. This second group of birds joins a previous group that had been released into the forest at the end of September. These eleven birds represent what conservationists hope will be the beginning of a recovered population of the endangered crow species on the island.

The recent project aimed at eradicating invasive rats from the State of Hawai‘i’s Seabird Sanctuary on Lehua Island is the subject of a half-hour long TV documentary that chronicles the operation from beginning to end. Scheduled for broadcast on KFVE-TV (K5) on Saturday, Oct. 21st and Sunday, Oct. 22nd at 9:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. respectively, the program was produced by DLNR with support from the Lehua Island Restoration Steering Committee; the group of government agencies, non-profit and community organizations, and other supporters involved in the eradication of rats.

‘Iao Valley State Monument will be closed beginning Monday, October 16, 2017 for an estimated two months. The Department of Land and Natural Resources will be completing the second phase of slope stabilization to the areas in the park that were damaged by a massive flood event in September 2016. Officials anticipate the park will reopen by December 16, 2017, or sooner if conditions permit.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) at its regularly scheduled meeting today reviewed a proposed administrative enforcement action against Kona resident Sean Pagett for organizing unpermitted fitness swimming events in Kailua Bay. The Board voted to dismiss the fine upon receiving assurances from Pagett’s counsel, former Hawaii mayor William Kenoi that Pagett will apply for a DOBOR permit, including obtaining required insurance coverage, for all future marine events he plans. The Board also voted to confirm that DOBOR rules do authorize the boating division, acting in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard, to require and issue permits for marine events, including swim races.

This morning NOAA Fisheries, the U.S Coast Guard, Kauai County Fire and Police Departments and the DLNR Divisions of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) joined concerned community members and native Hawaiian cultural practitioners to respond to a beaching event and attending to two Pilot whales that died on Kalapaki Beach on the north side of Nawiliwili Harbor.

The DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation will begin work starting October 19, to remove deteriorated asphalt and repave areas at the Wai‘anae Small Boat Harbor launch ramp and boat wash-down area. The total project scope of work includes repaving the existing asphalt roadways and parking areas, new striping, and at the boat launch ramp and wash-down areas, asphalt will be replaced with more durable concrete. Repaving of the roadway and parking areas has already been completed. Project contractor is Road Builders Corp. and cost is $1.5 million.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program is bringing its successful and unique Citizen Forestry Tree Inventory Program to the Honolulu ahupua‘a of Waikiki. The program, which begins training in mid-October, seeks volunteers to become Citizen Foresters and help gather valuable data about Honolulu’s urban trees that contributes towards improved management of these important community assets.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks has begun repair work to the 0.4-mile loop trail at Akaka Falls State Park, necessitated due to accidental damage caused by earlier removal of invasive albizia trees in February this year. Site Engineering was selected as contractor and cost estimate is $297,400. Work is expected to be completed in December.

Early morning visitors to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in East Oahu were delighted to see a Hawaiian monk seal resting on the beach. At first, it was thought the seal might be “Rocky,” the female who pupped a seal on Kaimana Beach over the summer, prompting worldwide media attention for mom and her precocious pup. Since Rocky has never been tagged, volunteers and staff from Hawai’i Marine Animal Response (HMAR) now say they can’t be sure of this seals identity.

A continuing project to remove rockfall hazards along the slopes of the iconic Diamond Head State Monument is now focused on the crater interior, and anyone planning to hike the summit trail between late October into late November, needs to carefully review the construction schedule that now includes some all-day weekday closures. See the Division of State Parks website at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument/

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