Maui National Wildlife Refuge Complex News Release
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking comments tonight on a draft conservation plan for Molokai’s Kakahai`a National Wildlife Refuge. When final, the plans will guide management of the refuges for the next 15 years.
Refuge staff will hold an open house to hear comments from the public and to address questions regarding the draft plan and its associated environmental assessment. On Molokai, the open house will be tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center.
Kakahai‘a National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Maui NWR Complex. It was established in 1976 to permanently protect wetland habitat for endangered waterbirds, primarily Hawaiian stilt and Hawaiian coot, and to provide habitat for wintering migratory wetland birds. The draft plans provide the vision, goals, objectives and strategies for management activities on the Refuge.
Proposed management would maximize wetland habitat with complete restoration of the 15-acre Old Pond, a spring-fed pond that lies on a narrow plain east of One Ali’i Park just above sea level at the foot of volcanic hills. An additional 5.5-acre New Pond, constructed in 1983 to provide shallow-water habitat for wading birds, will also be restored.
Monitoring activities would resume and a predator-proof fence installed to minimize or eliminate predators from the wetlands. Opportunities for visitors to engage in wildlife-dependent recreation may expand depending on staffing, and an observation area would be constructed along the refuge entrance road.
Copies of the full documents and/or a summary (planning update) can be obtained at the refuge administrative office or by calling the refuge at 808.875.1582. The documents are available online at fws.gov/kealiapond/planning.html and fws.gov/kakahaia/planning.html.
Comments on the draft plans and environmental assessments may be made at an open house meeting or by letter, fax, or email. All comments must be emailed or postmarked by Sept. 19, to be considered. Comments may be sent by email to: FW1PlanningComments@fws.gov (please put “Maui NWRC CCP” in the subject line); by mail to Glynnis Nakai, Project Leader, P.O. Box 1042, Kīhei, HI 96753; or by fax to 875-2945.