The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is monitoring plants at Pu’u Huluhulu that are being impacted by the continuing events at Mauna Kea. Animals and insects are reported to have been avoiding the area.
The DLNR said in a press release that “while protest leaders have taken steps to restrict access to the top of Pu‘u Huluhulu cinder cone, DOCARE estimates as many as 2,400 people have been around Pu‘u Huluhulu at any given time, for the past seven weeks.”
“Early on in this protest we warned about potential impacts to endangered species from off-trail activities. Intentional or not, it’s happening, and it’s very concerning. You just can’t have thousands of people in sensitive natural areas like Puʻu Huluhulu without this kind of harm resulting. DLNR’s mission is to protect these species, and our staff is passionate about doing so, and it’s sad to see this now.”DLNR Chair Suzanne Case
The Kanaka Rangers, who have maintained a presence at Mauna Kea for several months posted that the guided educational walks at Pu’u Huluhulu will be closed for “assessment and continued monitoring of our native, threatened and endangered species habitats.”
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, DLNR Enforcement Officer Edwin Shishido commended the “protest leadership for closing the area down so there’s not more impact to the area.” He also stated that since the time that they did their assessment, the plants have regenerated.
Shishido also stated that they are open to working with kanaka leadership to manage the area and its species.