Descendants of Kona Filling Ranger Duties During ShutdownJanuary 14, 2019, 6:20 PM HST (Updated January 15, 2019, 9:19 AM)
Lineal descendants of the South Kona District volunteered for ranger duties at Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Park on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, in order to maintain visitor safety, according to a press release from the volunteers.
The volunteer rangers filled in for federal employees who are laid off due to the longest government shutdown to date.
Concerned residents on Maui have exercised similar stewardship efforts at the Ohe‘o National Park in Kipahulu and the Haleakalā National Park volcano summit.
“The Kua Hawai‘i Project has witnessed the National Park’s inability to protect park resources across the state and considers the parks and other federal lands around the country to be in a state of crisis,” the press release stated. “Fragile ecosystems are being damaged and trashcans are overflowing.”
“The group provides training for resident volunteers, contributing their time to fill the void for National Park Rangers during this interim of the government shutdown,” the release said. “After training and certification, resident participants provide in-the-field advising; extending safety briefings along with cultural and historical information to park visitors. Resident volunteers are scheduled to be on post everyday during this time of uncertainty.”
The Kua Hawai‘i Project conducts cleanups and trash removal efforts on weekends and notes its objectives are to care for and protect various sacred sites throughout Hawai’i. Any residents across the State of Hawai‘i interested in volunteering their time in this capacity can email [email protected]. or go online to review the volunteer training program.