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HVNP Sets Goal to Reopen

August 21, 2018, 4:36 PM HST
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Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. PC: HVNP

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park reports that its goal is to reopen parts of the park by Sept. 22—National Public Lands Day —as long as the current pause in earthquakes and collapse-explosion events at the summit of Kīlauea continues.

Exact details of what will be open are pending, but visitors should expect limited hours, limited visitor services and that only some areas in the park will be open for safe visitation.

Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando shared the news at a community Talk Story event this afternoon in Volcano, at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus. Nearly 125 people attended.

“We have the difficult task ahead of us of identifying what we can safely open. Our first step will be bringing staff back into the park, while getting assessments done,” Orlando said. “National Public Lands Day is our goal but not definitive,” she said.

The theme for this year’s National Public Lands Day, a fee-free day when outdoor enthusiasts turn out to give back and enjoy their favorite outdoor places, is Resilience & Restoration.

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Superintendent Orlando and other park staff are reaching out to the community in a series of Talk Story meetings to get feedback on the direction the park should take once it reopens. Park congestion and “pressing the reset button” to examine if the park should return to serving more than two million visitors a year is one of the most passionate topics to arise.

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The Talk Story sessions continue Thursday, Aug. 23, in Kahuku at 10 a.m., unless impacts from Hurricane Lane force the park to reschedule. Check the park website for alerts.

Most of the park, except the Kahuku Unit, has been closed due to increased volcanic and seismic activity since May 11. No significant seismic or collapse-explosion events have occurred at the summit since early August.

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