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Contact: Eric Andersen, 808 572-4445
Come make a difference in the future of Haleakala National Park!
In 1916 a trek to the 10,000 ft. summit of Haleakala National Park involved a motor car ride to Olinda, followed by an all day horseback trip. The horses arrived late in the evening to set up camp and visitors to the summit hunkered together against the cold in a guest house named Craiglea. The next morning sunrise brought the splendor of the mountain to the crowd of 12 people. The experience compelled the guests to record these thoughts in the log book; solitude, majesty, amazement, awe, and silence.
Fast forward 90 years to a parking lot at the edge of the crater filled with over 75 vehicles including large tour buses, min buses, large vans, horse trailers, and a multitude of bicycles. 600 people clad in blankets, rain-slickers, and beach towels elbow each other for viewing space at a narrow railing. The crowd throngs along the hillside stepping on silversword seedlings, overturning rocks, and occasionally hurting themselves on the steep slopes in the predawn darkness.
It would have been difficult to predict this sort of experience on a chilly morning 9o years ago, nor would the thought have occurred to plan for such an event. Today we have an opportunity to form a new balance between the richness of the past and the desires of the present and future.
Haleakala National Park is setting into motion a process to manage commercial services in the park. The public is invited and encouraged to be apart of this process. Commercial services include activities such as tours provided by horseback, van, bus, hiking groups, bikes, and star gazing. The Hawai`i Natural History Association, a not-for-profit organization in the park that provides educational services through books, posters, and thematic items, is also included.
Commercial service activities in Haleakala National Park must comply with the overall National Park Service mandate to preserve and protect the significant natural and cultural resource while providing opportunities for public use and enjoyment.
“Community input at this time is extremely valuable” says superintendent Marilyn H. Parris. “The public’s participation will help develop a plan that is responsive to the needs and desires of park management, the visiting public, local communities, and the local business community.”
The plan will identify necessary and appropriate commercial services in the park, and the best way for the National Park Service to manage them. At this point in the process, a planning team is developing a framework from which all decisions will be made.
The public is invited to participate in two meetings with the planning team in October of 2006.
Tuesday, October 17 – Helene Hall , Hana
Wednesday, October 18 – Mayor Hanibal Tavares Community Center, Pukalani
“What a great opportunity to honor our 90th anniversary as a park by setting into motion a plan that will maintain and enhance visitor services while preserving the resources of Haleakala for the next 90 years and beyond.” said superintendent Parris. “What a great legacy we can all help create. How often does a chance to make a real difference come along?”
The public comment period begins now and runs through October 31th, 2006.
Those unable to attend the meetings can still participate in writing via letter or e-mail.
For inquires, comments, or to place your name on a newsletter mailing list, write to;
Commercial Services Plan C/O Superintendent
Haleakala National Park
PO Box 369 Makawao, HI 96768
Electronic inquires can be sent via e-mail to HALE_CSP@nps.gov