Covid-19 Protocols: Please wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and be respectful of others. Aloha, State Parks
PARK UPDATES: - 1/22/21 - [OAHU] - Kaena Point State Park Vehicle Access Gate on the Mokuleia side (north shore) is OPEN. The Keawaula gate (west side) is CLOSED but the park is OPEN.
1/5/21 - [MAUI] - Puu Olai a.k.a. Little Beach is CLOSED until further notice.
12/16/20 - [OAHU] - Diamond Head State Monument is now OPEN!
11/23/20 - [MAUI] - Iao Valley State Monument is now OPEN. Paid parking by credit card only.
11/3/20 - [HAWAII] - Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area is now OPEN. Restroom services are limited to portable toilets due to a recent water main break.
“Kanaka Garden” in Wailoa River State Recreation Area Removed – Group Leader Cited for Three ViolationsPosted on Jan 7, 2021
1/7/21 – (HILO) – Early this morning officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) stood watch as a crew from the DLNR Division of State Parks removed illegally planted taro and banana trees from the Wailoa River State Recreation Area.
The so-called“Kanaka Garden”was planted within the last week by a group claiming to have jurisdiction over the State land. 64-year-old Gene Tamashiro of Hilo, the group’s leader, was cited by DOCARE officers on three Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (HAR) violations that were outlined on a Cease-and-Desist Order that was delivered to him on Tuesday.
Tamashiro and several others were cited in 2013 on similar charges following an illegal planting operation at the Wailoa park. Officers also contacted two women who initially refused to leave the park, but they eventually left on their own accord. Wailoa State Recreation Area does not open until 7 a.m. each day, but a group of six or seven people were seen tending the football field-sized garden well before dawn.
State Parks supervisors estimate several hundred plants were pulled from the ground today. They were trucked to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo School of Tropical Agriculture where
viable plants will be returned to the ground. Crews will return to the park later today to assess any damage, which could lead to additional civil penalties against the people who planted the garden. State Parks workers will also need to return in the coming days to cover holes created during the planting.
DOCARE officers also removed a “Kanaka Garden” sign that detailed the groups claims of ownership of the property as well as several flags that had been erected at the park’s main entrance. Several occupiers stood with flags in hand as trucks carrying the plants away, passed them. A couple of tents that had been put up earlier in the week were previously taken down by their owners. Officers from the Hawai‘i Police Department and the Dept. of Public Safety Sheriff Division provided support for the operation.
Tamashiro will be required to appear in Hilo District Court on February 19 to answer charges of leaving abandoned property on public lands; unauthorized use of State lands for agriculture use; and introducing plants onto public property.
Previous Article – 1/5/21 – A group of people who have illegally taken over a portion of Wailoa River State Recreation Area were notified this morning to cease and desist by 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 6).
Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) taped one order on a sign the group had put up at the park’s entrance. Another was presented to the group’s leader and another was posted in a small encampment.
The group has planted between 50 and 60 taro plants and banana trees across a football-sized field in the popular and widely used State park. The participants are claiming jurisdiction over the park. They don’t have any permits for planting or for erecting signs at Wailoa.
Today a man sat at the park’s entrance drumming. Another person was mowing grass around the fresh plantings.
Eight years ago, the man leading the group was cited after similar illegal activities at Wailoa. DOCARE is working closely with the DLNR Division of State Parks to return the area to public usage.
DOCARE Chief Jason Redulla said, “No matter their professed claims of ownership, this recreation area and all other State Parks belong to all of Hawai‘i for the enjoyment by residents and visitors. Park users have expressed concerns that members of this group are ignoring County and State mandates to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Today about a dozen people appeared to be part of the group. Last weekend, media reports indicate the number had swelled to 75 or more.
The Cease and Desist order requires the group to remove tents and other camping gear or the materials will be considered abandoned property.