Authorities searching for Makena State Park vandals on Maui

Local News

File – Severed steel support pole at Makena State Park on Maui on Wednesday, Jan, 27. (DLNR)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) announced on Wednesday, Jan. 27, that authorities are looking for the person or persons who cut through the fencing and metal gate poles at the entrance to Little Beach at Makena State Park on Maui.

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The beach section was closed on Tuesday, Jan. 5, to discourage large Sunday drum circle gatherings attended by hundreds of people, according to the DLNR. One administrator said, the behavior is concerning for multiple reasons.

“This behavior is not only destruction of government property, but whomever did this misses several important points. First, the barrier was put up because many people were simply ignoring current COVID-19 mandates at their own risk. Secondly, this kind of senseless vandalism is an assault on everyone who pays taxes in Hawai‘i. These materials and the labor to install these barriers are not cheap and now we’ll have to spend limited staff resources on putting the gate up again.” 

Curt Cottrell, DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator

The vandals likely used power tools to cut the steel support posts, according to the DLNR, and then discarded signs, poles and fencing into the ocean. State Park workers were able to retrieve most of the debris and believe the fencing and gate can be welded back together.

File – Discarded fencing in the waters off Makena State Park on Maui on Wednesday, Jan. 27. (DLNR)

Cottrell said, the vandalism is going to delay the reopening of the beach area.

“We understand many folks on Maui want Little Beach reopened, but in good conscience we cannot do so as long as some people continue to misbehave, break the law, and endanger the health and safety of those around them. These actions reduce our confidence that once we do re-open we’ll see compliant and responsible behavior.” 

Curt Cottrell, DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator

Anyone with information on this incident can report it anonymously by calling (808)-643-3567 or via the DLNRTip app on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.

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