We’ve been anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge Viewpoint for some time. Construction fencing is hiding the status from public viewing, but we sense that it has been largely ready and that red tape could be holding it up.
It was confirmed to us yesterday that, in fact, the issue is now largely about getting all of the i’s dotted and t’s crossed on the final permitting and paperwork that will allow the opening to occur.
Exciting new Hanalei viewpoint will open very soon.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) confirmed the upcoming opening in today’s update.
The new 5.4-acre overlook is located just before the Princeville Shopping Center when approaching from the Kapaa direction. It includes two viewpoints encompassing Hanalei Valley and Hanalei Bay, Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge, and the Halelea Forest Reserve.
“The site also includes parking for 25 cars, short-term parking for a maximum of three buses, perimeter fencing and entry gate, signs, interpretive displays, vault toilets, seating, and native plantings that will provide residents and visitors with opportunities to learn about the natural and cultural history of the Hanalei Valley and the Hanalei NWR.-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
USFWS confirmed that they’re awaiting the substantial number of documents related to the new facility that are needed prior to opening the viewpoint to the public. Staff is also still working on some construction aspects that include “the installation of additional fencing and irrigation, as well as the removal of hazardous trees from the landscape for safety and security.”
Once all of the elements have fallen into place, the open date will be announced. Beat of Hawaii intends to be at the opening festivities.
Kauai National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
The Hanalei NWR is one of three Kauai components under the jurisdiction of the National Wildlife Service. The Hanalei NWR, according to USFWS, “provides one of the most important wetland habitat sites in the State of Hawaii for the recovery of the endangered koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck), ‘alae ke’oke’o (Hawaiian coot), alae ula (Hawaiian common gallinule), ‘ae’o (Hawaiian stilt), and threatened nene (Hawaiian goose).”
The Hanalei NWR is the oldest of the three refuges on Kauai. The refuge is comprised of 917 acres and was established in 1972 to protect and recover endangered and threatened species including waterbirds that “rely on the Hanalei Valley for nesting and feeding habitat.”