The National Park Service will hold two meetings on Molokai the week after next to help chart the course for the future of Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
Four different visions for Kalaupapa have been developed in an effort to create a General Management Plan. These alternative visions came out of public meetings held in December of 2009, which considered questions about how to best honor the people, site and history of Kalaupapa. Much of the information discussed at these meetings had been gathered during statewide public scoping sessions held in April, 2009.
Regardless of which alternative, or combination of alternatives, is agreed upon, one thing is certain: the rights and desires of the current patient residents will be held in the highest regard.
“One thing to which all of us agree,” wrote NPS Superintendent for Kalaupapa, Stephen Prokop, “don’t change what is most significant or special about Kalaupapa!”
A common agreement within the plans is to maintain the status quo in the near term. This means the Hawaii Department of Health will still manage public visitation to the isolated peninsula and maintain the 100 person-per-day visitor limit. The NPS will continue to manage most buildings and infrastructure and remain in charge of historical preservation for over 200 buildings in Kalaupapa.
Long-term considerations, when there are no longer any patients living in Kalaupapa, will make up much of the discussion at the five statewide meetings being held in June.
Major issues to be considered have been grouped into these categories: resource management; boundaries; visitor experience and facilities, access and transportation.
The first scheduled meeting will be in Kalaupapa at McVeigh Social Hall on Monday, June 6, 9-11 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. The next day, June 7, the meeting will come topside to the Mitchell Pau’ole Center in Kaunakakai from 10 a.m.-noon and 6-8 p.m.
Other meetings will be: June 8, Kahului, Maui, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, 4-6 p.m.; June 9, Honolulu, Bishop Museum, 6-8 p.m.; June 10, Honolulu, Bishop Museum, 9-11 a.m.
For those unable to attend these public open houses, written comments can be sent by email to KALA_GMP@nps.gov or go to http://parkplanning.nps.gov/kala (this is the NPS preferred method for receiving written comments. A letter can be mailed to the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, P.O. Box 2222 Kalaupapa, HI 96742. Superintendent Prokop can be reached at 808-567-6802 ext. 1100.