TWO NEWS RELEASES from the NATIONAL PARK – Aug 21 & 31 SCROLL DOWN:
News Release – August 21, 2018 – Jessica Ferracane, Public Affairs Specialist
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Sets Goal to Partially Reopen by September 22 – National Public Lands Day
Hawaii National Park, HI – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park announced today its goal to reopen parts of the park by Sept. 22 – National Public Lands Day – as long as the current pause in earthquakes and collapse-explosion events at the summit of Kīlauea continues.
Exact details of what will be open are pending, but visitors should expect limited hours, limited visitor services and that only some areas in the park will be open for safe visitation.
Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando shared the news at a community Talk Story event this afternoon in Volcano, at the Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus. Nearly 125 people attended.
“We have the difficult task ahead of us of identifying what we can safely open. Our first step will be bringing staff back into the park, while getting assessments done,” Orlando said. “National Public Lands Day is our goal but not definitive,” she said.
The theme for this year’s National Public Lands Day, a fee-free day when outdoor enthusiasts turn out to give back and enjoy their favorite outdoor places, is Resilience & Restoration.
Superintendent Orlando and other park staff are reaching out to the community in a series of Talk Story meetings to get feedback on the direction the park should take once it reopens. Park congestion and “pressing the reset button” to examine if the park should return to serving more than two million visitors a year is one of the most passionate topics to arise.
The Talk Story sessions continue Thurs., Aug. 23 in Kahuku at 10 a.m., unless impacts from Hurricane Lane force the park to reschedule. Check the park website for alerts, www.nps.gov/havo.
Most of the park, except the Kahuku Unit, has been closed due to increased volcanic and seismic activity since May 11. No significant seismic or collapse-explosion events have occurred at the summit since early August.
News Release – August 31, 2018 – Ben Hayes, Chief of Interpretation
Park makes progress towards reopening September 22
Hawaii National Park, HI – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is completing emergency repairs and making progress towards reopening parts of the park by 10 a.m. on Sat., Sept. 22, National Public Lands Day.
As of today, 32 buildings have been inspected, non-potable water has been restored to nine buildings, and 20 miles of trail have been assessed by the National Park Service geomorphologist. On Sept. 10, a team of engineers from the Federal Highway Administration will begin assessments on park roads. Due to extensive earthquake damage, no vehicles over 15,000 pounds will be allowed to enter the park when it reopens.
A new Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park “Recovery” webpage is now available to share updates and photos with the public: https://www.nps.gov/havo/recovery.htm.
For the first time in many years, there is no molten lava to see in the park. The recent eruption saw the disappearance of the summit lava lake and lava flows from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō have ceased.
Following a lengthy closure due to months of hazardous volcanic and seismic activity at the summit of Kīlauea, the park is preparing to reopen the following areas on Sept. 22 by 10 a.m.:
- Kīlauea Visitor Center (closes at 5 p.m.)
- Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association store at Kīlauea Visitor Center (closes at 5 p.m.)
- Crater Rim Trail between Volcano House and Kilauea Military Camp
- Sulphur Banks Trail
- Crater Rim Drive to Steam Vents
- Kīlauea Iki Overlook and parking lot
- Devastation Trail and Pu‘u Pua‘i
- Crater Rim Drive to Keanakāko‘i Crater, for pedestrians and bicyclists only
- Mauna Loa Road to Kīpukapuaulu; open to pedestrians and bicyclists past Kīpukapuaulu
- Sections of Escape Road from Highway 11
- Chain of Craters Road
The Volcano Art Center Gallery and Kilauea Military Camp also plan to open on Sept. 22. Limited services may be available at Volcano House.
The entrance station will open by 10 a.m. on Sept. 22, and the park will go back to being open 24 hours a day. National Public Lands Day is a fee-free day so entrance fees will not be charged on Sept. 22. Entrance fees will go into effect on Sun., Sept. 23. Areas not listed above should be presumed closed. There is no drinking water in the park. Unforeseen circumstances could delay the projected reopening. During the last several weeks, two hurricanes threatened the park, and a damaging wildfire burned nearly 3,800 acres of native forest on Mauna Loa.
An initial interior inspection was completed on Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube), but additional assessments are needed. It will remain closed for now. Between May and August, 62 collapse-explosion events at the summit of Kīlauea produced scores of rockfalls and fractured park overlooks, trails, waterlines, parking lots and roads.
The theme for this year’s National Public Lands Day, a fee-free day when outdoor enthusiasts turn out to give back and enjoy their favorite outdoor places, is Resilience & Restoration. Next week, the park will announce opportunities for volunteers to assist with recovery efforts, and begin recruitment.