Leprosy patients will help shape Hawaii national park plans - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Leprosy patients will help shape Hawaii national park plans

Kalaupapa Kalaupapa

HONOLULU (AP) - A handful of people with leprosy are still living full time on an isolated peninsula in Hawaii, but the National Park Service is already making plans to overhaul buildings and allow more visitors to the area when the last of the patients dies.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the park service has previously tried to make a long-range management plan for the 10,725-acre historical park on the Molokai peninsula.

But Kalaupapa National Historical Park Superintendent Erika Stein Espaniola says the patient-residents had little interest in the plan then.

The 16 remaining patients now range in age from the 70s to the 90s and fewer than 10 live full time in Kalaupapa.

Espaniola says the idea of developing a plan to preserve Kalaupapa's history is gaining appeal among the residents.

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