DLNR pitching for 2 staff positions at Kalalau Valley
The Department of Land and Natural Resources wants the state to fund two on-site staff positions at Kaua'i's Kalalau Valley in Na Pali State Park.
So far this year, close to 11 tons of trash have been lifted out of Kalalau Valley.
With no full time DLNR presence on site, the nature haven has become a kind of free for all for illegal camping and squatting.
The illegal folks who set up residence damage historical sites and water they bring in an immense amount of tools, equipment, food, and supplies that often don't leave the valley even though they do.
Alan Carpenter, with DLNR's Division of State Parks, says the department plans to ask the state for $100,000 to hire two full time staff in the valley.
Squatters in the area have posted bizarre videos like these showing what goes on there. The DLNR says management of the site will help crackdown on illicit activity.
“Just a simple start getting some permanent staff to help deal with this constant festering problem,” Carpenter said. “I think it's almost criminal that we don't have that kind of thing.”
Unlike DLNR park rangers who can issue citations, proposed staff would only be able to convey verbal warnings. Those warnings could also be crucial to hiker safety in the area.
In 2014, more than a hundred hikers were trapped during monster flash flooding at Hanakapi'ai Stream. Everyone survived but rescue efforts took firefighters two days to complete.
The DLNR says it will pitch its staff request during next year's legislative session.
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