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State seeks input on outdoor recreation plan

The Maui News

State officials are seeking input on a plan that will guide future recreational needs in Hawaii and keep the state eligible to receive federal funds for outdoor recreation projects.

A draft of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation plan is now available for review, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of State Parks announced Monday.

The five-year strategic plan for outdoor recreation is based on comments received from recreation agencies and others through online surveys and community meetings held between April and June. More than 2,600 people participated in the process.

Participants identified the protection of natural and wildlife resources and wilderness areas as top priorities for investment in outdoor recreation. The operation and maintenance of existing infrastructure and facilities and protection of cultural and/or historic resources were found to be other top priorities for the next five years. Concerns were expressed about inadequate and poor conditions of facilities.

The plan will allow Hawaii to remain eligible to receive federal funds administered through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a grants program carried out by the National Park Service. Recent grants under the program include coastal trail improvements at Wai’anapanapa State Park in East Maui; renovation of tennis and basketball courts at Kalawai Park on Kauai; installation of new playgrounds on several Oahu parks; construction of the Hilo Bayfront Trail on Hawaii island; and new lookouts, viewing scopes and repaving of the Makapu’u Trail on Oahu.

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