Ahihi-Kinau/Keoneoio closure update

Old Jun 29th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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Ahihi-Kinau/Keoneoio closure update

This is the latest on the closure of the Ahihi-Kinau Reserve on Maui. The lack of respect shown by some people just chaps my hide, especially the tour operators who continue to business illegally. http://mauinews.com/news/story/06292...1panel0629.asp
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 03:46 PM
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Here Today - I have been following this story in Maui News. What are some of the most harmful things the tour operators do? Is it because they damage the area by hiking and driving through it? I need to look at a map as I cannot visualize exactly where this area is - South Maui, right? People are so ignorant! I hate even seeing cigarette butts on the ground everywhere I go! As if our beautiful world is no better than someone's ashtray!
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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The area is south of Makena.

First off, this area has been designated a natural Reserve and the designation alone means that any commercial activity is prohibited within the reserve, except by permit. No permits have ever been issued.

Some impacts include:

Disturbance of dolpins. The dolphins retreat to this area as aresting area. This is where they rest, mate, nurse their young. They dopn't go to bed at night, they come to an area close to the shore and rest. But the kayakers continually disturb them, some even chasing them. This confuses and distresses the dolphis, disrupts their rest and mating.

Human excement. There are no fascilities here (there are a few portajohns in the parking lot now) and people seem to do their business where they wish.


Destruction of historical sites. People remove rocks, or create grafitti out of the rocks leaving designs made of coral on the lava fields. Burial caves have been opened.

Damage to the coral reef, Maui's youngest and most vulnerable.

People swim in anchialine pools killing brine shrimp found there exclusively.

What good is desinating it a Natural Reserve Area if nothing is done to protect it?

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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 05:13 PM
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I was wondering the same thing. Is the money just not there to put an enforcement mechanism in place? What are the politics like on Maui?
It is so painful to read about this.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 01:23 AM
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There is an article in this week's Maui Weekly on the closure. Excerpts:

A panel that will ultimately decide on the future of Ahihi-Kina?u wants it closed.
?I want it closed 24/7, tomorrow,? says Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Jr. about the popular recreational area. ?The mayor is anxious to close off the area. I don?t like the idea of only at night. The place is being trashed by tourists swimming with dolphins in the daytime,? he said at a meeting of the Ahihi-Kina?u/Keoneoio Advisory Group...

...The committee, headed by Dan Davidson, deputy director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, plans to have the gate up by August...

...Sumner Erdman, the major landowner in the area, says the archeological sites are endangered. ?I saw one site and it?s not damaged, it?s gone,? he says, blaming vehicles for the majority of the negative impact on the area. ?Hikers are not a problem.? ...

...The committee is unanimous in agreeing that a major culprit in the misuse of the area, now that the kayak companies have been evicted, is what they call the ?blue book,? referring to the $10 paperback ?Maui Revealed? by Andrew Doughty and Harriett Friedman of Maui. The top-selling book offers tips and secrets to many of Maui?s scenic and recreational sites. For example, recent studies show that 700 people, mostly snorkelers, visit Ahihi-Kina?u between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and the majority are tourists referred to the area by the ?blue book.? The committee will be inviting Doughty and Friedman to their next meeting at the Kihei Community Center, August 3, at
9 a.m...

...The problems with Ahihi-Kina?u are many. The county says the state owns the road there and the state says the county owns it, complicating the problem...

...With the county and the state struggling for a solution, Senator Ed Case says he already has the solution... ?I want it to run as a national park. ? ...


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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 02:27 AM
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Trying to pin most of this environmental damage on tour operators and tourists is just plain ignorant. The article says:

"The gate is to be installed at a location known as "dumps." The area was once a dumping ground for the residents that used to live in the area over a hundred years ago."

South Point on the Big Island has a very similar problem. First time there we were absolutely appalled at the amount of garbage in the area -- bleach bottles, automobile tires, beer cans etc etc etc. We asked a half dozen people about it and they all said exactly the same thing -- it's LOCALS who are trashing these areas. Not tourists.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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Dumps was a dump in the nineteeth century. It has long been cleaned up. We have our fair share of problems with waste disposal here on Maui, but that is not the problem at Ahihi-Kinau. The problem is with the volume of traffic, cars drving and parking where they should not, hundreds of people a day trampling through a protected area. The problems are people harrassing dolphins and destruction of historic sites. I hike in this area quite often. We often pack out trash, and it consists of cigarette butts, film wrappers, soda and beer cans, starbucks cups, discarded broken snorkleing gear, not tires and car batteries.
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 05:03 PM
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Well, that's really sad. I can't imagine anyone spending thousands of dollars to see paradise, and then dumping their trash on it.

I didn't mean to claim no damage is being caused by tourism, it's just that in 15 years of travel to the state we've personally never witnessed any tourist (or tour operator) doing such a thing. We have, however seen many locals throwing their cigarette butts and wrappers, beer and soda bottles, cans etc. on the ground.

At least among Americans, the "good tourist mantra" seems to have really taken hold the past decade or so (Take only pictures, leave only footprints).
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Old Jul 19th, 2004, 07:43 PM
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In any random group of people you will have those who kokua and practice malama `aina, and those who don't give a damn. The issue has become more a matter of the sheer numbers of people. 700 snorkelers a day in a protected area is just way too many.
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Old Jul 20th, 2004, 09:15 PM
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I was there in April. Tried to find a descrete place to allow my kids ( 7 and 8) to have a truely pure snorkeling experiene. 20 yards off the beach we were able to view two nice sized ulua herding fish in their morning feeding. What a great experince. About 10:00am the kayak crew came from offshore with total disregard of the sensitive nature of the preserve. Drug their kayaks up on the beach and reef and plowed thru everyone with their newly donned gear. What was interesting to me and my wife was that the group leader paid no atention to the group, gave no instruction, and made his way down the beach to remove himself what I felt was total chaos; totally ruining it for those that were quietly observing nature. Guidelines and regulations are necessary.
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