POSTED: 17 May 2005 - 8:30pm HST

Koke'e Environmental Impact Statement Preparation Notice now posted

Kokee cabin featured on the frontpage of the preliminary EIS

 A PDF file of the EIS Preparation Notice is available on the State Parks web site at

The PDF file is 8.9 MB and consists of 46 pages.  

Comments are invited not later than June 8 to Lauren Tanaka at State Parks.   

Lauren Tanaka
Division of State Parks
1151 Punchbowl St., Room 310
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
(808) 587-0293



POSTED: 25 March 2005 - 12:30pm HST

Public Information Meeting in Lihue

BLNR member Ron Agor & State Parks Director Dan Quinn discuss Kokee plan

The Kokee Master Plan Meeting in Lihue was conducted by the State Parks Department and its planning consultant R. M. Towill Corporation. Representing the State was Dan Quinn and representing the consultant was Chester Koga.

It was a better meeting than some might have expected. No rancor, or criticism, but a presentaion of things considered after the BLNR meeting in January and new suggestions and updates from the public.

Chester Koga stated that the idea of a gate fee for Hawaiian residents has been taken off the table and is not in consideration. The term "Entry Gate" is no longer being used in favor of "Park Entry". The residential areas are being considered as an historic district as a way of preserving their use and character. The current thinking is that a Lodge with overnight facilities for guests may be a good idea. The consultant mentioned that an early element of the planning process did not allow visitor traffic beyond the Meadow area. Travel by horse and carriage to Kalalau lookouts was even considered.

The public was clear on a couple of issues. The Meadow at Kokee is sacrosanct and should not be developed. The area along the northwest edge is an historic area of celebration and should not be crossed by automobile traffic.

All in all, it was a good meeting.

members of the public examine elements of the Kokee plan

Daniel Quinn, Director
Division of State Parks
1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 310
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 587-0300
Fax (808) 587-0311

Chester T. Kago AICP: Project Director
R.M. Towill Corporation
420 Waiakamilo Road, Suit 411
Honolulu HI 96817-4950
(808) 842-1133 or (808) 748-7433

Ron Agor: BLNR Member
Agor Architecture
4374 Kukui Grove - Suite 204
Lihue HI 96766
(808) 245-4550



POSTED: 22 March 2005 - 9:30am HST

Public Information Meetings

Modified proposal shows more on shuttle to Kalalau

by Juan Wilson 22 March 2005

Today and tomorrow are the meetings for the public to engage with the Parks Department and its consultant on the Master Plan for Kokee. If you want to have a voice in the process or simply want to provide the viligence over public access and planning issues that we need on this island - be there at the meetings.

I have made some modifications to my proposal. The following is a cover letter to the Parks Department concerning the modifications.

Division of State Parks
Department of Land & Natural Resources
State of Hawaii

At the BLNR hearings in January I submitted an alternative scheme for the entry and lodge areas of the Kokee State Park Draft Master Plan that was presented in Eleele to Kauai residents in November of 2004.

At the January 14th 2005 hearing, those alternatives (in the form of drawings replacing Figures 7-2 and 7-4 of the DMP) were included in an amendment to the motion to approve the Draft Master Plan. In addition, the wording of the amendment, as formulated by board member Ron Agor, included a verbal description of the alternative scheme.

The alternative scheme included four major elements.

1) The removal of a gate and security booth at the entrance of the park to be replaced by a Ranger Station and “Welcome to the Kokee State Park” sign.

2) The construction of a “Grand Lodge” that would provide overnight accommodations for 16 beds (expandable to 32) at the edge of Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow to be connected to the refurbished Museum.

3) The restriction of “visitor” traffic beyond the “Lodge” area. This would include a realignment of Kokee Road so that the “Lodge” area is the natural terminus of the trip up from Waimea Canyon. To accommodate visitors to the Kalalau Lookouts and trailheads the state (or a vendor) would operate electric jitneys as shuttles from the “Lodge” to sites beyond.

4) The preservation of the residential community in Kokee as the “Eyes of the Island” and friends of the upland forest.

An overview of the scheme is to transform the experience of riding up the canyon road and arriving at Kokee. It makes the Kokee “Lodge” area the real terminus of the trip. It makes the trails and lookouts beyond the “Lodge” and extra special event for the visitor. Something only experienced by hiking, biking or taking a guided tour. It does not provide “drive-up” access for rental cars to the trailheads or Kalalau lookouts. Elements of the scheme include:

A) Make the visitor feel welcome to experience the drama of Waimea Canyon without fees or restrictions.
B) Create an exciting and informative place of arrival for visitors to Kokee. Provide eating, sleeping, recreational and educational opportunities at this “end of the road”.

C) Operate a “Grand Lodge” with sleeping, banquet and meeting accommodations that fill be the architectural focus and terminus of the “road to Kokee”. This will be an income generating activity for the Park and offset the impact on the current residential community on visitor accommodation needs as seen by the Parks Department.
D) For visitors wishing to go beyond the “Lodge” area provide a “Station” as the starting point for hikers, bicyclists, or shuttle riders. This will be an income generating activity for the Park.

A crucial aspect of this scheme is the nature of the restrictions to private vehicular traffic that might be imposed. In my original “Lodge” area scheme I realigned the road leading beyond the “Lodge” area so that it formed a “tee” intersection with Kokee Road. I identified a sign at the intersection reading “Staff & Residents Only”.

The idea was to eliminate tourist rental cars traveling beyond the “Lodge” area to Kalalau lookouts or upland trailheads. I intentionally did not specify the definition of “Resident”. In my mind it might have meant anything from Kokee resident, Kauai County resident to State of Hawaii resident. That definition could be adjusted based on traffic, beginning with the least restrictive mode.

The intent was to restrict traffic on the road beyond the “Lodge” so that it would be safe for slow electrical jitneys, bicycles and and hikers as well as the limited number of “residents”. Obviously, the people living on the island want as few restrictions as possible to their movement. Their wishes and uses of Kokee need to be included to any balanced approach.

I personally feel vehicular restrictions can be used positively in environmentally delicate areas without violating the rights or interests of the public. For example, on Nantucket Island to drive on the beach it is required that you are a resident of the island and have a beach access permit sticker on your four-wheel drive vehicle. Violators are heavily fined.

Since January I have modified some details of the transportation elements of “Lodge” area plan. This includes separation of bus parking, car parking, jitney/bike routes, and pedestrian circulation.

Enclosed with this letter is a copy of the “Entry” area plan submitted in January and an updated version of the “Lodge” area plan. Note that if my scheme were implemented that the Kalalau lookouts parking lot expansion plans may not be necessary. Efforts at the lookouts instead would involve providing what would be needed for the shuttle from the “Lodge”.

If you want to download a PDF file (1.6 megabytes) of the modified Lodge Area plan click here



POSTED: 9 March 2005 - 8:00am HST

Public Information Meetings Notice

Centerpiece of alternative plan presented to DLNR January 14th

Public Information Meetings Notice
We've received word that State Parks has scheduled two more meetings (which we are characterizing as "meetings with a difference") on March 22 and 23, following a series of meetings with small groups of stake holders, including representative leaseholders.  The meetings will be working or discussion groups devoted to the changes in the Master Plan as a result of the meetings in January.  So there's no need to provide new testimony, but you may want to review the minutes of the January 13 briefing and January 14 Land Board meeting in Lihue, available at: and (at the same site) our February 2005 Galloping News, which summarizes those changes to the plan.

Here's the notice as received from Lauren Tanaka of State Parks:

Public Information Meetings Notice
The Division of State Parks will hold two public information meetings on the Master Plan for Köke‘e and Waimea Canyon State Parks.  The meetings will be held on:

Tuesday, March 22, 2005, Beginning at 6:00pm
Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, 4191 Hardy St., Lihue, Kauai  96766

Wednesday, March 23, 2005, Beginning at 6:00pm
Kilauea Neighborhood Center, 2460 Keneke St., Kilauea, Kauai  96754

Based on public and agency input received to date, several park conceptual plans have been developed.  With further public review, the plans will be refined and enhanced for inclusion into the Master Plan and the potential impacts assessed in the draft environmental impact statement. 


Editor's Note
Now is not the time to rest on past efforts. The Draft Master Plan for Kokee Park is a red hot issue again. The next two public meetings will likely determine much of what will be Kauai resident participation in the design changes coming to the plan. If you have an idea or even an opinion be at those meetings.

More Information
For more on this issue at check out -
Island Breath: Kokee Plan 5
Island Breath: Kokee Plan 4
Island Breath: Kokee Plan 3
Island Breath: Kokee Plan 2
Island Breath: Kokee Plan 1

If you have questions, or need additional information try the contact below:

from the state hired planning consultant -
Chester Koga
R.M. Towill Corporation

call (808) 842-1133
email to

To reach DLNR staff on this issue -
Lauren Tanaka
Division of State Parks
1151 Punchbowl St., Room 310
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
(808) 587-0293
Visit the DLNR website at: