Public input sought on protection and future use of Pōhue Bay area
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park invites the community to participate in a public meeting regarding protection and potential future use of the remote 16,451-acre Kahuku-Pōhue parcel the park acquired earlier this year.
An in-person meeting is planned for Dec. 10 from 1-3 p.m. at the Nāʻālehu Hongwanji, located at 95-5695 Māmalahoa Highway in Nāʻālehu. Park managers are seeking feedback from the community about the natural and cultural resources of the area, and wish to explore suggestions for public use that are compatible with resource protection.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development (HACBED) will participate in the meeting. Information stations will be set up at the meeting where local community members and stakeholders can talk story with park staff, TPL and HACBED.
Before the land transfer, the park met with community members in partnership with TPL and HACBED to better understand the land’s cultural, historical and ecological significance. Community engagement will continue over the next few months. Until Pōhue interim operating procedures can be worked out, and safe access protective of cultural and natural resources can be ensured, public access to the Kahuku-Pōhue parcel is temporarily restricted. There are no restroom facilities or capacity for trash removal, and emergency response is very limited. Portions of the current jeep trail and pedestrian routes to the coastline pass through private lands not managed by the park.
The park is calling the new section the Kahuku-Pōhue parcel in reference to the Hawaiian place name, Kahuku. Kahuku is the mauka-to-makai ahupuaʻa, or historic land division, in which Pōhue is located. In addition, many Kaʻū locals refer to the bay as Pōhue Bay and its adjacent beach as Kahuku Beach. The park welcomes additional information about other ʻinoa ʻāina (Native Hawaiian or indigenous) place names for Kahuku-Pōhue.
More information and photos are available on the park website: https://www.nps.gov/havo/learn/historyculture/kahuku-pohue.htm.