Hawaii Tourism Authority funds pilot program to mitigate visitor impacts at Pololu Valley

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Pololu Valley is a historical area in North Kohala on the Big Island with the lookout, trail and coastal shoreline as popular attractions.

With the recent influx of visitors in the area, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is funding a program that aims to mitigate the impacts to the natural and cultural resources.

The Pololu Trail Steward Program is a pilot project in collaboration with KUPU, Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program, and the lineal descendent community of Pololu, Makanikahio and neighboring ahupuaa. The program would have local stewards assist with interpreting the natural and cultural history of the area, as well as mitigate unwanted behaviors.

Partners of this project hope this can serve as a model for collaborations to manage the impact of tourism on the state’s resources and to help steer visitors towards responsible actions.

Through KUPU, the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program will be hiring four part-time stewards. From August 2021 through January 31, 2022, the stewards will assist with visitor management, safety, and trail maintenance. They will also share their knowledge of the Pololu area with visitors.

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