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Kauai Slippery Slide in Kilauea

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I am doing research on the Kilauea Slippery Slide. I would like to know the entire history of it. When it was built and by whom. How it was built. Was it always accessible? When it was no longer accessible was there a reason. What was that reason. How did the closure impact the area and locals. What was the controversy behind deciding to close it. Any information would be appreciated. The more the better. I know this is a very dated subject almost from 60 years ago but I am not able to find very many specific on this subject. Thank you

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    Apparently it closed in 1979 so I was lucky to be able to get in! I remember driving thru the cane fields and we got stuck in the mud, and some locals helped us out.

    KEALIA, Kauai -- It isn't easy to reach the Slippery Slide at Waipahee.

    Once something of a tourist attraction, it is now the kind of place that only locals know.

    Casual sightseers are discouraged by five miles of rough road -- blocked first by a locked gate and later by a wire cable -- and a 20-minute walk through ferns, scrubby trees and brush.

    The slide, closed to the public 18 years ago, is one of Kauai's unique natural spots, a place that Shannon Smith, who was raised in nearby Kapaa, knew well.

    Smith, a 20-year-old University of Hawaii football player, was the 10th person in 35 years to drown in the swirling waters of the so-called "bottomless pool" that forms beneath the natural slide in Waipahee Stream.

    Firefighters said heavy rains, like those experienced on Kauai for several days before Smith and his companions hiked in, can cause a strong whirlpool to form in the deep pool beneath the slide. The stream and pool, nestled within a forest reserve above Anahola, are also prone to flash flooding.

    Those types of hazards, coupled with crime and problems maintaining the remote site, prompted the state to close the slide in 1979. Lihue Plantation Co., which owns the land, had wanted to close it 15 years earlier because of liability hazards.

    The state, although absolved of guilt in a lawsuit filed by the families of three Oahu teens who drowned in the pool in 1971, decided to close high-risk areas like the slide. When the state pulled out, Lihue Plantation erected the gates and stopped maintaining the access road.

    Some hunters and ranchers who lease the abandoned cane land for pasture have keys to the gate, although Lihue Planation Co. attorney Tamara Edwards said the land "has always been private property and it's intended to be maintained as private property."

    Still, she said, gates and warning signs don't always keep people out. "Lihue Plantation owns thousands of acres on Kauai and we try to limit access, but it's virtually impossible to keep trespassers out of that much land. You can't fence it all or close it all off."

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