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Star Bulletin (3/16/2009) – “Crossroads at Ka’ena”

The once remote coastal dunes are now drawing crowds and regulators

In the old days, Kaena Point was so remote, only the hardy ventured that far. But these days, the rugged western flank of Oahu lures hikers from across the globe and hot-rodders who roar over its dunes.

The state is planning to hire an “ambassador” to help handle competing demands on this last coastal dune wilderness on the island, a refuge for seabirds, monk seals and cultural sites. Some fishermen are objecting to what they see as overregulation of their traditional lifestyle.

“There’s a lot of passion for Kaena,” said Dan Quinn, state parks administrator. “Some folks want everything to be the way it was 50 years ago. The world is not the same. The pressures have grown, our population has risen. We need to more actively manage what’s going out there in order to be responsible.”

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