National park seeking input from public on overcrowding

The Maui News

Haleakala National Park is accepting comments through July 21 on overcrowding and resource concerns during sunrise while it develops an environmental assessment.

People also may comment on the pilot reservation system introduced in February that requires visitors to make an online reservation to view the sunrise at the summit.

Haleakala National Park said that the program has dramatically reduced crowds. Reservations may be made up to two months in advance. Another 40 tickets also will be available for reservation two days in advance, or until 4 p.m. the day before visiting the park, according to the Parks System reservation page. The cost of a reservation is $1.50 per car. The park entrance fee is an additional cost.

Haleakala National Park officials said that the purpose of the assessment is to analyze the impact of potential park actions to manage sunrise summit visitation so that it provides for the safety of employees and park visitors as well as protects sensitive natural and cultural resources and improves visitors’ experience.

The park asks for input in relevant issues, potential alternatives or concerns that should be addressed during the planning effort and environmental analysis.

Comments may be made at two public meetings. The first will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Pukalani in the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center room near the pool. The second meeting will be at the same time Thursday in the multipurpose room at Baldwin High School in Wailuku.

Comments may be mailed to P.O. Box 369, Makawao 96768; or may be submitted online beginning Wednesday at