Hiker cited for entering Sacred Falls, 2 others warned - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hiker cited for entering Sacred Falls, 2 others warned

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) cited an 18-year-old woman for unauthorized entry Thursday into Sacred Falls State Park -- which has been closed to the public since 1999. The violation is a petty misdemeanor offense.   

The woman, who is a tourist, was hiking with two juvenile males, one a visitor and the other a Hawaii resident, when one of the males slipped and fell, injuring himself.  The 17-year-old male was rescued by the Honolulu Fire Department and taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

DLNR also issued written warnings to both juvenile males that they will be cited if they return. The warnings were issued because they were both under age. The Hawaii resident's father was also advised of the warning.

"In future, there will be zero tolerance for violations, whether juvenile or adult," said William J. Aila, DLNR Chairperson. "Multiple ‘PARK CLOSED' signs are posted at the park gate as well as at locations all along the trail; there is no excuse for claiming someone did not see a sign."

"Exposure to falling rock hazards remains severe at Sacred Falls," he said. "People entering the now unmaintained park are putting themselves at risk of injury or death."

Aila has directed DLNR officers to cite anyone caught in the park. Numerous persons have already been cited who are entering the park, climbing over or going around the locked fence, and ignoring the park closure and warning signs. Between May 2011 and May 2012, at least 45 citations were issued to local residents, visitors and military service members.

"We encourage all persons to respect the park closure, and to safely enjoy our other State Park areas or hiking trails within the Na Ala Hele Trail System of State Forest Reserves," said Dan Quinn, State Parks administrator. "Other popular waterfalls on O‘ahu include Maunawili Falls, and Manoa Falls."

Entry into a closed park is a petty misdemeanor offense and subject to criminal penalties of not less than $100 for a first offense; $200 for a second offense; and $500 for a third or subsequent offense; in addition to administrative penalties of $2,500 for a first offense; $5,000 for a second offense, and $10,000 for a third violation.

Sacred Falls has been closed by the State for public safety reasons ever since a deadly rockslide in 1999 that claimed eight lives and injured numerous other park users.

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