Located on the southern flank of Mauna Loa, the Kahuku-Pōhue parcel is home to numerous well-preserved and significant Hawaiian cultural sites, including the largest recorded abrader quarry in Hawaiʻi, lava tubes, burial site, mauka-makai (mountain to sea) trails, fishing shrines, remains of once-thriving coastal villages, and petroglyphs. A well-preserved portion of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail or Ala Loa, an ancient coastal trail system, hugs the coastline.The Pōhue coastline is also critical habitat for federally listed endangered Hawaiian species, including honu‘ea (Hawaiian hawksbill turtle) and ʻīlioholoikauaua (Hawaiian monk seal). Rare endemic ʻōpaeʻula (red shrimp) live in the area’s anchialine ponds, and the bay is often frequented by native and migratory birds, including ʻiwa (frigate bird), koaʻe kea (white tailed tropic bird), kōlea (golden plover), ʻūlili (wandering tattler) and ʻaukuʻu (black crowned night heron).
A Push to Protect Kahuku-Pōhue
“Pōhue is an incredibly precious and culturally significant landscape that needs to be protected.... the park is working to develop an interim operating plan for Pōhue that explores opportunities for public use compatible with resource protection. We thank the community for your patience and for the manaʻo shared so far." - Park Superintendent, Rhonda Loh
Before the land transfer, NPS took proactive steps and met with community members in partnership with TPL and the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development (HACBED) to better understand the land's cultural, historical and ecological significance. This preliminary process will continue over the next several months.
What about public access?
In order to provide public access, the park will need to identify and establish alternative routes within Kahuku-Pōhue. We are seeking feedback on what kinds of public access and use compatible with resource protection should be explored. The first public meetings were held on August 13 and 17, additional meetings are being planned. Please e-mail us for feedback or questions.
Last updated: August 25, 2022