As appropriated improvement money sits pending Hawai`i Gov. Linda Lingle's release, an anonymous volunteer has started tackling needed work on the most perilous stretch of the NaPali Coast Trail on Kauai's North Shore. Sen.Gary Hooser, D-Kauai, made it a priority to get some funding to begin the work. This year's legislative budget approved June 27 allocated $1.2 million for the Kaua`i Panning and Action Alliance (KPAA) to restore and reconstruct hiking routes through Na Pali Coast Wilderness State Park and rebuild the Civilian Conservation Core camp at Koke`e State Park. The next step is to get the government to release the monies.
The 11-mile Na Pali Coast - Kalalau Trail provides the only land access to revered seaside vistas, valleys and waterfalls. Assuming the funds are released, the first task will be reconstructing portions of the trail's first two miles - from Ke`e Beach to Hanakapi`ai. In addition to hiring a contractor to do the trail reconstruction work, KPAA will have a project coordinator who will solicit input on needed improvements from regular community users of the trail.
After work begins to repair the trail's first two miles, Sen. Hooser said he plans to request funding in the 2008 budget to proceed on reconstructing the remainder of the path.
Arius Hopman, an avid hiker from Hanapepe, traversed the trail last week and encountered drastic improvements along the most dangerous section from mile 6 to mile 8. "I came around a bend and saw a tall man working the trail with pick and shovel. He told me he had been fixing the trail for over a month, probably over 150 hours," he said. "It was as good as it had been seven to ten years ago. " The anonymous volunteer, an ex-Marine and stone mason, told Hopman about families he saw turn back due to the unsafe conditions and felt compelled to answer the call. "Volunteerism is on the rise, it seems it is up to us to start pitching in where help is needed," Hopman said. "Complaining is just a waste of energy that could be spent fixing the problem."
Ron Margolis, RA, CDPE, ABR Hawaii Life Real Estate Services 808.346.7095 email: firstname.lastname@example.org