Kalaupapa National Park plan to be released
A general management plan and environmental assessment for Kalaupapa National Historical Park will be released for a 30-day review period on Thursday, the National Park Service announced.
The plan and environmental assessment provide “broad guidance for the management of the park over the next 15 years and beyond,” park officials said in the announcement. “The remaining resident-patients lifestyle and rules would not change in the short term.”
In the long term, the plan outlines several actions, including:
≤ “Malama i ka aina,” or care or the land and waters, in a way that “shows respect for the peninsula’s people, stories and way of life and is done in collaboration with the park’s many partners.”
≤ Continue the transfer of state Department of Health responsibilities to the National Park Service.
≤ Overall management of visitor access, activities and resources to be assumed by the park service in consultation with state agencies.
≤ Allow for changes to visitor regulations, including allowing children to visit Kalaupapa with adult supervision and removing the 100 person per day cap while continuing to limit the number of visitors through new mechanisms.
In 2015, the park service released a draft management plan and environmental impact statement for Kalaupapa. And, after consideration of comments and changes to the plan, the park service determined that a full environmental impact statement is no longer needed. Now, officials have a revised plan and environmental assessment.
“We truly appreciate the caring people who have participated throughout the entire general management planning process,” said Erika Stein Espaniola, superintendent of Kalaupapa National Historical Park. “This revised plan expresses our shared vision and is responsive to public feedback.”
For information about the 30-day public review period, visit parkplanning.nps.gov/ kalagmp. On Thursday, the general management plan and environmental assessment will be available for download. Comments will be accepted on the project website.
Kalaupapa was designated as a unit of the National Park System on Dec. 22, 1990. The park honors the moolelo, or story, of the history of the isolated Hansen’s disease community on the Molokai peninsula by preserving and interpreting its site and values.
The historical park also tells the story of the Hawaiian culture and traditions that go back at least 900 years at Kalaupapa.
The park’s boundaries encompass 8,725 acres, although only a small part of the park is owned by the National Park Service. The remainder is owned by the state of Hawaii and a private landowner.
To learn more, www.nps.gov/kala. visit